Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineGraham says Barr will allow Mueller to complete investigation CNN’s Camerota presses Kaine over refusal to do any Senate business before shutdown ends Kaine: Rosenstein's reported departure ‘raises the stakes’ for Barr confirmation hearing MORE (D-Va.) plans to object to the Senate adjourning for the week Thursday afternoon amidst a 19-day government shutdown, according to Senate sources.
Kaine and his fellow Senate Democrats want to ratchet up pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who earlier in the day blocked a Senate vote on House-passed legislation to reopen government agencies not connected with the partisan standoff over the border wall.
“Why would the Senate leave town this weekend before voting to reopen the government?!” Kaine tweeted on Thursday afternoon.
“Countless federal workers aren't being paid. People are worrying about how to pay bills. Congress could act now to fix it if Mitch McConnell would just take up a bill. Let's stay here and do it!” he wrote.
Kaine has told McConnell that he will object to any motion to adjourn the Senate for the week, something that is usually approved as a matter of routine on Thursday afternoons.
Sources familiar with the floor standoff over adjourning for the week said Kaine has made McConnell “aware” and is now waiting for the GOP leader’s response.
McConnell could either hold a vote to override Kaine’s objection or keep the Senate in session through the weekend although no votes would be expected, according to one senator briefed on the plan.
The GOP leader angered Democrats earlier on Thursday by refusing to allow a vote on a bundle of six bills funding government agencies that don’t have jurisdiction over the hot-button issue of border security.
McConnell argued the House-passed legislation won’t go anywhere without President Trump’s approval.
“The last thing we need to do right now is trade pointless — absolutely pointless — show votes back and forth across the aisle,” he said.
“I think we're stuck. I just don't see a pathway forward,” Graham told reporters.
-Jordain Carney contributed.