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Politics Democrats mull keeping Senate in session overnight

01:51  21 january  2018
01:51  21 january  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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a man looking at the camera © Provided by The Hill A group of Senate Democrats are talking about forcing the Senate to stay in session overnight to protest Republican opposition to a bipartisan immigration deal.

Democratic senators say they may block a motion to adjourn the chamber on Saturday and require the Senate to stay in session until Sunday morning so they can take turns talking about the plight of "Dreamers," immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, on the floor.

The talk-a-thon would likely be led by Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), a Democrat considered a top-tier contender for president in 2020, with expected support from Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other lawmakers who have supported similar efforts in the past.

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  Democrats Said to Have Votes to Halt GOP Bill: Shutdown Update Temporary government funding runs out at midnight Friday and the House and Senate must pass a temporary extension to avoid a partial shutdown, but those efforts are increasingly in doubt. Democrats are demanding to include a provision permanently shielding about 690,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.(Bloomberg) -- Temporary government funding runs out at midnight Friday and the House and Senate must pass a temporary extension to avoid a partial shutdown, but those efforts are increasingly in doubt. Democrats are demanding to include a provision permanently shielding about 690,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation.

Democratic lawmakers said they did not think a deal to end the shutdown would be reached before the end of the day Saturday.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he hoped the standoff would be resolved "in a matter of days rather than weeks."

The plans for a protest aren't yet firm and there's some question whether Democrats can recruit enough people to keep a talk-a-thon going until the wee hours.

"It will depend on whether we can get enough people, it doesn't take much," said a Democratic senator familiar with behind-the-scenes efforts to organize a protest.

The lawmaker said, however, there's some concern about requiring staff to stay up through the night after late deliberations in the Senate on Thursday and Friday.

The Senate adjourned at 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

A Democratic aide confirmed that an all-night talk-a-thon is "an idea that has been discussed" but added "it hasn't been set."

"Things are fluid," the source said.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said there's a desire to hold Republicans' feet to the fire.

"I think people want to get this done. We're about to see. There are a lot of discussions going on right now," he said when asked about keeping the chamber late.

Senior Democrats, however, such as caucus Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), were not aware of any plans to push the legislative day well past midnight.

"Whatever they want to do, I'm here to go to work," he said.


Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown .
Feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress are trying to dodge blame for a paralyzing standoff over immigration and showing few signs of progress on negotiations needed to end a government shutdown that stretched into a second day Sunday. The finger-pointing played out in rare weekend proceedings in both the House and Senate, where lawmakers were eager to show voters they were actively working for a solution — or at least actively making their case why the other party was at fault. The scene highlighted the political stakes for both parties in an election-year shutdown whose consequences are far from clear.

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