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The House side of the U.S. Capitol. Sept. 12, 2018. Photo by Humberto Sanchez

Congress remained in a partisan stalemate over the partial government shutdown last week, which was on track to continue indefinitely as of Friday.

President Trump was expected Saturday to offer to extend protections for DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status residents in exchange for border wall funding, according to Axios.

The Democratic-controlled House passed two stopgap funding measures that would re-open the government. But the bills were dead on arrival in the Senate because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the chamber will not consider any legislation without the support of President Donald Trump.

With the House out next week for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no progress is expected to be made on the shutdown.  The Senate will be in session on Saturday and then begins next week on Tuesday.

Trump has demanded $5.7 billion to help build a wall on the border with Mexico, one of his central promises during the 2016 presidential campaign. Democrats have pledged not to negotiate for any border security funding beyond the $1.3 billion provided last year until the government is re-opened.

Nevada’s House Democrats supported the two temporary funding bills, which were designed to pressure Trump and Senate Republicans to fund the government and get 800,000 federal workers back to work and provide them back pay. Rep. Mark Amodei, the delegation’s only Republican, voted against the measures.

“I find it incredible that congressional leadership on both sides, and the Administration, are still unable to have an adult conversation on border security,” Amodei said in a release Friday. “Over the last month, it’s been incredibly frustrating to watch the deterioration of both sides as this standoff continues. It has reached the point of one side expecting the other to completely surrender – refusing to back down or negotiate.”

Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford signed a letter with 28 other House Democratic freshman calling on McConnell to allow a vote on the House-passed legislation to open the government. The letter was hand-delivered to his office by a group of Democratic freshmen including Lee.

One of the bills, which passed 237 to 187, would fund the government through Feb. 8 and included $12 billion for disaster funding. The other measure, which would provide funding through Feb. 28, passed on a voice vote. But Republicans cried foul and argued that their efforts to request a roll call vote were ignored. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has since decided to hold a recorded vote on the measure next week.

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus also indicated this week that she may use her gavel to investigate Trump and his business. She is the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee. The panel oversees the General Services Administration (GSA), which administers the federal government’s real estate. A report released last week by the GSA’s Office of Inspector General concluded that the agency ignored the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause after Trump was elected president with regard to the lease for the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. to the Trump Organization.

“The Inspector General’s report provides new evidence that Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by refusing to separate himself from the Trump Organization’s business interests,” Titus said in a release. “As the leading Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for overseeing the GSA, I will lead the effort to hold the Trump Administration accountable for this egregious violation of the Constitution.”

Titus also weighed in on the Department of Justice’s decision, first reported by Online Poker Report, to reverse a 2011 Office of Legal Counsel opinion on the Federal Wire Act that allowed states to legalize certain types of online gaming.

“Though the full impact of this reckless DOJ reversal remains to be seen, we can be certain that it will inject uncertainty into a well-regulated market and push consumers back into the black market,” Titus said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration only supports states’ rights when it is politically convenient. Despite this setback, I will continue to lead the fight in Congress to ensure states like Nevada can decide what is best for them on the question of online gaming.”

The reversal was a victory for Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, who has lobbied to limit online gambling, in part, because he argues it would hurt revenue at brick and mortar casinos as well as make gambling more accessible to children.

Lee and Horsford also announced new committee assignments. In addition to serving on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Horsford will also be one of the five members of the panel to serve on the House Budget Committee. He will be the first Nevadan to serve on both committees at once, according to the House’s Office of the Historian. Horsford will also be only the third Nevadan to serve on the Ways and Means Committee after former Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, who left the panel at the end of 2013. While a member of the House, John Ensign was also a member of the panel until 1999. The first Nevadan to serve on the committee was Francis G. Newlands, who served on the panel through 1903 and is best known for his white supremacist views.

Lee announced that she has joined the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Meanwhile, lawmakers remained in their partisan corners in the Senate resulting in no legislation passing last week. The Senate voted for a third time Monday on a bill to take up a broad Middle East policy bill, but Democrats, including Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, voted against the measure, instead calling on McConnell to hold a vote to re-open the government.

Cortez Masto was one of several Democrats to give a speech on the Senate floor. She talked about federal workers in Nevada who have been hurt by the shutdown, including those who work for the Coast Guard, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, and as government contractors.

“These Nevadans shared how their finances and their whole lives have been thrown into chaos by this reckless shutdown,” she said.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada announced Friday that it would provide free transit service to any furloughed federal employee until the federal government resumes all operations.

Rosen signed on to a letter sent to Trump urging him to end the shutdown, which exacerbated the affordable housing crisis in Northern Nevada.

“The housing crunch in Northern Nevada is already an issue that needs to be addressed but the government shutdown is preventing housing vouchers from getting to families who need it most. I sent a letter urging an end to this shutdown so that we can protect Nevada’s families,” she wrote on Twitter.

The Senate Banking Committee also announced that Cortez Masto will be the top Democrat on the panel’s Economic Policy Subcommittee. She will also serve on the committee’s Housing, Transportation and Community Development Subcommittee and the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee.

For a full rundown of the measures the delegates supported or opposed this week, check out The Nevada Independent’s congressional vote tracker and other information below.

SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
Legislation sponsored:
S. 125 – A bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 2014 to repeal the forfeiture rule for peanuts under the nonrecourse marketing assistance loan program, prohibit the use of Federal funds for certain activities, and for other purposes.
Legislation co-sponsored:
S. 184 – A bill to authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.
SEN. JACKY ROSEN
Legislation co-sponsored:
S. 191 – A bill to direct the Secretary of Defense to include in periodic health assessments, separation history and physical examinations, and other assessments an evaluation of whether a member of the Armed Forces has been exposed to open burn pits or toxic airborne chemicals, and for other purposes.
REP. DINA TITUS
Legislation co-sponsored:
H.R. 650 – To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to permit an individual who is subject to a requirement to present identification as a condition of voting in an election for Federal office to meet such requirement by presenting a sworn written statement attesting to the individual's identification, and for other purposes.
H.R. 645 – To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require each State to ensure that each individual who provides identifying information to the State motor vehicle authority is automatically registered to vote in elections for Federal office held in the State unless the individual does not meet the eligibility requirements for registering to vote in such elections or declines to be registered to vote in such elections, and for other purposes.
H.R. 590 – To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that an alien may not be denied admission or entry to the United States, or other immigration benefits, because of the aliens religion, and for other purposes.
H.R. 582 – To provide for increases in the Federal minimum wage, and for other purposes.
H.R. 576 – To expand Medicare coverage to include eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dental care.
H.R. 555 – To prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities who need long-term services and supports, and for other purposes.
H.R. 541 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.
REP. MARK AMODEI
Legislation co-sponsored:
H.R. 579 – To prohibit the conditioning of any permit, lease, or other use agreement on the transfer of any water right to the United States by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, and for other purposes.
REP. SUSIE LEE
Legislation co-sponsored:
H.R. 663 – To direct the Secretary of Defense to include in periodic health assessments, separation history and physical examinations, and other assessments an evaluation of whether a member of the Armed Forces has been exposed to open burn pits or toxic airborne chemicals, and for other purposes.
H.R. 657 – To provide loans to employees of the Federal Government and the government of the District of Columbia affected by a Government shutdown, and for other purposes.
H.R. 588 – To suspend the enforcement of certain civil liabilities of Federal employees and contractors during a lapse in appropriations, and for other purposes.
H.R. 582 – To provide for increases in the Federal minimum wage, and for other purposes.
REP. STEVEN HORSFORD
Legislation co-sponsored:
H.R. 674 – To authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.
H.R. 662 – To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require institutions of higher education to disclose hazing incidents, and for other purposes.
H.R. 582 – To provide for increases in the Federal minimum wage, and for other purposes.
H.R. 541 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam, and for other purposes.

This story and headline were updated at 8:45 AM to reflect the president's reported offer.

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