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Democrats Block Wall Measure As Goverment Shutdown Continues

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., steps out of the chamber prior to a vote Thursday on ending the partial government shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., steps out of the chamber prior to a vote Thursday on ending the partial government shutdown.

Senate Democrats have blocked President Donald Trump's request for $5.7 billion to construct his long-sought wall along the U.S-Mexico border, as a partial government shutdown continues for a 34th day.

The partisan 50-47 tally fell well short of the 60 votes required to advance the measure over a Democratic filibuster. The $350 billion-plus government-wide funding bill represented the first attempt by Republicans controlling the Senate to reopen the government since the shutdown began.

The demise of the measure and likely defeat of a Democratic alternative Thursday comes despite increasing urgency felt by lawmakers to end the shutdown. It leaves Washington with no obvious path out of the impasse despite mounting pressure.

The measure would have also provided three years of continued protection against deportation for 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she's willing to meet with President Donald Trump "anytime" to discuss ending the partial government shutdown.

Pelosi told reporters she's "still optimistic" Senate Republicans will vote Thursday for the Democratic bill that would temporarily reopen government while talks are held over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build the border wall.

The speaker said House Democrats are putting together a new border security package that could provide a step toward a compromise. It will include money for fencing, technology, personnel and other measures, but not Trump's proposed wall.

Trump responded in real time on Twitter saying, "very simply, without a Wall it all doesn't work.... We will not Cave!"

Some 800,000 federal workers are set to miss another paycheck Friday. The government is in its 34th day of a partial shutdown.

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