Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Booker, Menendez Rejected Compromise

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Booker, Menendez Rejected Compromise

Article excerpt

"I would have much preferred a two-day, three-day or even week-long extension."

Sen. Bob Menendez

On opposing motion to end debate on a short-term budget plan

New Jersey Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker broke with many of their fellow Democrats on Monday and opposed a Republican offer to end the government shutdown and then hold talks on immigration and budget issues.

The two New Jersey senators were among 16 Democrats who opposed a procedural motion to end debate on a short-term budget plan that was approved 81-18. The motion cleared the way for the spending bill itself to be approved later Monday by both houses, reopening government agencies and funding them through Feb 8.

In the House, every New Jersey Republican voted for the bill and every Democrat opposed it except Rep. Josh Gottheimer of Wyckoff, who last week also broke with his party to support a short-term spending bill.

The Senate vote came after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised to work toward a bipartisan compromise on immigration, border security and a broader budget deal ahead of the new deadline.

"Nothing in this legislation gives me any confidence that in three weeks Congress won't end up exactly where we are today," Menendez said in a statement. "I would have much preferred a two-day, three-day or even week-long extension that forced Democrats and Republicans to stay in Washington and negotiate."

Democrats had objected to a short-term spending bill, the fourth since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, after President Donald Trump rejected an agreement reached by a bipartisan group of senators, including Menendez, on how to prevent the deportation of so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were bought to the United States as children. Trump forced the issue by rescinding an executive order issued by President Barack Obama known as DACA, for Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. …

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