Votes on Senate bills seen as progress even if they fail

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s new approach to ending the partial government shutdown actually takes votes instead of just pointing fingers. But two competing bills appear likely to fail Thursday, caught in a poisonous Washington impasse.

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 President Donald Trump’s border wall and revamping immigration laws. Democrats would reopen agency doors for three weeks while bargainers continue to seek a budget deal.

Twin defeats might spur the two sides into a more serious effort to reach an agreement. With the impact of the shutdown becoming increasingly painful, lawmakers say they’re willing to compromise on border security and immigration policy.