Republican Sen. Cory Gardner plans to break with Trump on vote to reopen government: report

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner plans to vote for a spending bill that would reopen the government – even without funding for President Trump’s border wall.

The Colorado lawmaker will vote for a measure that doesn’t include additional border security funding, a spokesperson told the Denver Post, noting Gardner’s opposition to government shutdowns.

The Senate is expected to vote on competing bills Thursday to end the partial government shutdown, which has been ongoing since before Christmas with Trump and Democrats at an impasse over funding for the border wall.

Either measure would reopen federal agencies and pay 800,000 federal workers who are days from missing yet another paycheck. Republicans would couple ending the 34-day shutdown with $5.7 billion for Trump's border wall and revamping immigration laws. Democrats would reopen agency doors for three weeks while bargainers seek a budget accord.

Gardner was the first GOP senator to break with the president and call for a spending deal without the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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“I strongly support efforts to take further action to increase funding for border security and begin to fix our broken immigration system. That said, I don’t believe shutting down the government is the best course of action. Instead, we should fund border security, end the partial government shutdown, and then continue to fight to get even more border security funding in the long term,” Gardner said in a statement previously provided to Fox News.

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Gardner, too, has sought to keep federal workers paid throughout the shutdown.

“Our federal workers should not be deprived of their paychecks, which is why I’m introducing legislation that pays federal workers and provides peace of mind for our 800,000 government employees who are struggling to make ends meet,” he said in a tweet.

According to the Denver Post, Gardner’s proposal wouldn’t reopen the government, but would provide enough money to pay the employees.

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Aside from Gardner, Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have also expressed frustration over the government shutdown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.