- The Washington Times - Monday, December 31, 2018

Democrats announced a plan Monday to try to reopen the government by passing a package of Senate-written bills to fund most remaining parts of government for all of 2019, coupled with stopgap funding through Feb. 8 for Homeland Security.

That plan has repeatedly been rejected in principle by the White House, but Democrats, about to take control of the House when the new Congress convenes Thursday, say they’ll try to force action on it.

They said their goal was to separate Mr. Trump’s demand for a border wall from the ongoing government shutdown, reopening government while putting off a fight over homeland security’s budget for several weeks.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, poised to become House speaker, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, said senators have already voted for a Feb. 8 funding bill during votes two weeks ago.

“It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” the leaders said.

Their hope is to isolate Mr. Trump, whose demand for border funding has sent the government into a generally painless shutdown.

While most of government is still operating, some 25 percent of discretionary money expired Dec. 21. The holidays have muted much of the impact, and some agencies continued to function on leftover money, postponing real effects for most Americans.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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