Republican congressional leaders have largely backed Trump in his push for the wall.
Trump's wall has transcended typical Washington bickering over policy goals to become a political battle over the central ideologies of both parties.
By a vote of 240-188 along mostly partisan lines, the House passed the bill and sent it to the Republican-controlled Senate as part of Democrats' latest strategy to end partial government shutdowns at many federal agencies that began on December 22.
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is leading the effort by Senate Democrats to introduce a companion bill to a major political and electoral reform bill introduced by House Democrats on January 4. They reiterated their call for Trump and Senate Republicans to reopen the government while Congress debates the "expensive and ineffective wall". The shutdown will become the longest ever on Saturday, a day after hundreds of thousands of federal employees will also miss their first paycheck.
Sen. Rubio, however, argued that Democrats remain defiant toward his proposed legislation, because "a significant [number] of Senate Democrats now support BDS", and that leaders within the Democratic Party want to avoid a floor vote that would reveal their support for the BDS movement's discriminatory economic warfare against Israel.
Senate Democrats blocked action on a bill unrelated to the ongoing government shutdown Tuesday, in protest of President Donald Trump's demands to fund a controversial border wall with Mexico in exchange for reopening the agencies. Later Tuesday night, Trump will deliver an address to the nation from the Oval Office on border security, in which he's expected to make his case for why Congress should approve the border wall funding he's requested.
The Senate voted unanimously last month on spending bills that would keep the government open, with an understanding from the White House that Trump would sign off on the bill.
"Due to the government shutdown, millions of low-income renters are at risk if the shutdown continues into February, when public housing officials say they don't know if rental assistance payments will be able to continue", he wrote.
In the House, Representative Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, is pushing the Syria provisions as a separate bill.
McConnell's gambit is a transparent one, said Halie Soifer, the director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
Democrats plan to vote against the measure to pressure McConnell to pass legislation funding the government, according to a senior Senate Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss party strategy. "Currently, 79% of Republicans say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, compared with just 27% of Democrats". He said the White House ignored those statistics when issuing the updated request. "We've never had a better ally".
The most outspoken critic has been Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who slammed the introduction of the bill in the midst of a government now in its third week.