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US Senate set to vote on plan to reopen federal government

Republican Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky Mitch McConnell (C) walks to the Senate floor to make an announcement as the Senate continues work on ending the government shutdown in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 21 January 2018. The shutdown began at midnight on 20 January; the Senate hopes to vote in the early morning hours of 22 January to allow the government to reopen. EFE

Washington DC, Jan 21 (EFE).- The leader of the Republican majority in the United States Senate announced Sunday that the chamber would vote at noon Monday on a bill to fund the government, which remained partially closed during the weekend, after the federal budget was not approved on Jan. 19.

The senators will vote on a bill to keep the Administration open until Feb. 8, Senator Mitch McConnell said.

The proposal would give Republicans and Democrats more time to negotiate the final budget for the 2018 fiscal year, although it is not clear that the 60 votes needed to approve that bill are guaranteed.

After McConnell’s announcement, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned they still have to reach an agreement on the way forward that is acceptable to both parties.

Before the plenary session of the Senate, McConnell tried to convince the Democratic opposition to support the bill by promising to push the debate on legislation to provide a solution to undocumented young immigrants who came to the US as children known as “dreamers”, if no agreement is reached before Feb. 8.

The Obama-era protection plan, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), protecting these young people from deportation will be phased out by Mar. 5, 2018.

Some 800,000, deemed “non-essential”, out of a total of 3.5 million public employees are affected by the partial government shutdown and will be furloughed until Congress reaches a budget agreement.

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