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House Democrats to pass plan to reopen government Thursday

Posted at 2:18 PM, Dec 31, 2018

House Democrats will vote on a legislative package to reopen the government when they take over the chamber on Thursday, a Democratic aide confirms to CNN.

The Democrats plan to vote on six Senate spending bills and a stopgap measure to re-open the Homeland Security Department at its current funding levels until February 8, the aide said. The temporary measure would maintain the current $1.3 billion in border security money.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear he will not move forward on any legislation until President Donald Trump signs off on it. The move by House Democrats, however, will have the effect of jamming Senate Republicans and the White House as talks for a compromise agreement to reopen the government remain at an impasse.

Senate Democrats support the House Democratic plan, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and expected incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been in constant contact and are on the same page on the plan, a senior Senate Democratic aide said.

Democrats believe it's smart to separate Department of Homeland Security funding — and the wall fight — from the other six bills because they think it puts Trump and the Republicans in the position of holding the other agencies and furloughed workers hostage for the wall, the aide said. Democrats believe pressure will mount on Republicans as the shutdown drags on, the aide said.