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WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., had a big first day on Capitol Hill on Thursday, voting against two bills to at least partially fund the government through the fiscal year, ending the shutdown.

During a roll call at 9:34 p.m. on Thursday, Steil, whose 1st Congressional District includes Racine County, voted against House Joint Resolution 1, which would have continued funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. The bill passed the house, 239-192, largely along partisan lines with five Republican joining with the Democrats.

At another roll call later that night, Steil voted with the majority of Republicans against House Resolution 21, which made appropriations for the fiscal year through September 2019, which also passed, 241-190.

House Democrats muscled through legislation on Thursday night to fund the government, but without money for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S./Mexico border.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said those measures are non-starters on his side of the Capitol without the president’s support.

Steil agreed with McConnell’s position.

“The legislation voted on the floor last night was not a serious attempt to end the shutdown,” Steil stated in a press release. “Rather than grandstanding, I urge leadership to bring a bill to the floor that can pass through the Senate and can be signed by the President. I’m committed to finding common ground, ending the shutdown, and providing necessary funding for enhanced border security.”

In an earlier interview with The Journal Times, Steil said Trump’s proposed wall along the southern border is a “key component” of border security and said the House needed to pass a spending bill that would be approved by the Senate and the President.

“Like every American, I am frustrated with the current situation and the continuous cycle of shutting down the government over political fights,” Steil stated. “We need to reopen the government.”

After meeting with the president on Friday along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, R-N.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters that Democrats “will continue our conversations but we all recognize, on the Democratic side, that we really can’t resolve this until we open up government and we made that very clear to the President.

“Services are being withheld from the American people, paychecks are being withheld from people who serve the needs of the American people, and our border security will suffer if we do not resolve this issue,” Pelosi said.

“We are committed to keeping our borders safe. That has always been our principle: to honor the oath of office that we take to protect and defend our country and our Constitution. We can do that best when government is open. We’ve made that clear to the President.”

“Like every American, I am frustrated with the current situation and the continuous cycle of shutting down the government over political fights. We need to reopen the government.” U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis.

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The Associated Press and Journal Times Assistant Managing Editor Pete Wicklund contributed to this report.



Christina Lieffring covers the Burlington area and the Village of Caledonia. Before moving to Racine, she lived in Nebraska, Beijing, Chicago and grew up in Kansas City.

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