Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked legislation on Thursday that would have reopened most of the federal government impacted by the shutdown without explaining his objection, marking the third time he has blocked House-passed government funding bills in the past two weeks.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) attempted to get consent to take up a House-passed bill that would reopen all agencies except the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but McConnell objected.
McConnell did not offer an explanation his objection from the Senate floor.
The senator has warned for weeks that he will not bring up a government funding bill unless it’s the product of an agreement between congressional Democratic leadership and President Trump.
“The solution to this is a negotiation between the one person in the country who can sign something into law, the president of the United States, and our Democratic colleagues,” McConnell said Tuesday when he blocked a House bill as well as a piece of legislation to fund DHS through Feb. 8.
Roughly a quarter of the government has been shut down since Dec. 22, forcing roughly 800,000 federal employees to work without pay or be furloughed.