Senate leadership on Tuesday struck an agreement to vote on dueling proposals to reopen the federal government. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set up two votes for Thursday afternoon, both of which will require 60 votes to advance. The first vote will be on President Trump's proposal to reopen the government, provide $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall and extend legal protections to some immigrants for three years. If that fails, the Senate would then vote on a three-week continuing resolution (CR). There is no guarantee that either bill can get the votes to pass and break the months-long stalemate that has closed roughly a quarter of the government. But the deal between McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is the first glimmer of progress after weeks of entrenched back-and-forth.
Fox News Radio's Guy Benson & Marie Harf get the latest from Fox News Senior Producer Chad Pergram
Marie Harf: [00:00:00] Welcome back to Benson and Harf on this very cold Tuesday on the East Coast. We hope everyone is staying warm out there. Thank you for joining us tonight. The third host basically of Benson and Harf hasn't been on in a few days so he's joining us now Chad Pergram of course Fox News's senior producer for Capitol Hill. Chad what is going on with the shutdown this movement in the Senate. And I'm also going to ask you to give us an update on the ever elusive STATE OF THE UNION that may or may not happen a week from today.
Chad Pergram: [00:00:29] Well let's start with the government shutdown. There are competing narratives in the House and the Senate. There's even competing narratives in the Senate. There's going to be two votes procedural votes on Thursday afternoon that have been teed up by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the minority leader Chuck Schumer one is the president's plan to reopen the government five point seven billion dollars for a border wall. Also provisions to open up the rest of government. You need 60 votes to end debate on that. Then there's going to be a competing Democratic proposal which basically reopens the government but doesn't fund the border bill. Now Chuck Schumer indicated he said at the end of the day this was not a fair trade for DACA. This was something that the president included in this plan. Meantime Mitch McConnell says quote to reject this proposal Democrats would have to prioritize political combat with the president ahead of federal workers DACA recipients. And ahead of predictable government funding. Here's the key. The president has signaled that he would sign the McConnell plan 1300 page bill. Meantime we don't have any clarity what he would think about the Democratic plan over in the House of Representatives. They're teeing up a set of six bills to try to reopen the government. The president probably doesn't have any interest in trying to sign those bills either. So we're still at a stalemate here and nobody sees any end to this in sight. Now let's talk about the state of the Union supposedly right now. About a week's time from right now. This place would be buzzing. I'm in the Capitol right now. They would be preparing to bring the president up. Your security would be very tight. But at the end of the day the White House is saying we intend to present a state of the Union and Nancy Pelosi signaled last week that she thought they should find another date preferably when the government was open. So can the speaker rescind the invitation. She could. That's her prerogative. But guess what. She doesn't have to do that. And there's no guarantee that the president gets to come up here and give his speech. Why every year when they give the state of the Union address sometimes even the day of both the House and Senate both the House and Senate approve what's called a concurrent resolution to authorize the House and Senate to meet in a joint session of Congress for the state of the Union and also to do it in the House chamber and to have the president speak from the day to both bodies of Congress. This is usually a fait accompli boilerplate. Nobody cares. I've never actually looked at the text of one of these resolutions until today. And so so long as that never happens and there's no indication that it will happen then the president isn't coming. There was a thought that maybe the president could just show up and speak in the Senate. Well you have to have a blessing from the Senate. The Senate controls its chamber. Senate is controlled by Republicans. But that would be subject to two rounds of 60 votes a filibuster just a call for votes. So that's not going to happen. So where will he speak. I don't know with the goodwill. We don't know where the White House. No.
Marie Harf: [00:03:28] Chad I'm sorry to cut you off we're up on a break. Bottom line we don't know. We'll check back in with you soon. We'll be right back.