Senate Democrats on Tuesday voted to refuse to enter into official negotiations with the House on a spending bill, saying there can be no talks until the GOP agrees to end the shutdown that began Tuesday morning.
The 54-46 vote showed Senate Democrats remain united, and the vote shoves the issue back over to House Republicans, who have now seen the senior chamber kill four different proposals to end the shutdown.
“All they have to do is accept what we already passed,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said early Tuesday morning.
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Democrats have been insistent on a “clean” stopgap funding bill that doesn’t affect President Obama’s health law. House Republicans, meanwhile, have said there must be conditions.
But every option House GOP leaders have tried has been batted down by the Senate on easy party-line votes, showing a unity that House Republicans have been unable to match.
The latest House offer was an official motion to go to conference with the Senate, which would begin negotiations on the bill.
But Democrats countered that they wouldn’t talk until federal employees were back on the job.
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