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IN THE NEWS: Joe Donnelly a pivotal player in bipartisan efforts to end government shutdown

Criticism from GOP falling flat against Joe’s efforts to keep government open

INDIANAPOLIS - After voting to keep the government open and announcing that he’d donate his shutdown pay to Indiana charities, Joe Donnelly has been hard at work in the bipartisan efforts to re-open the government, fund CHIP, and find a path forward for Dreamers. If a deal emerges soon, it seems increasingly likely to come from a bipartisan group of senators that prominently features Joe who have been negotiating throughout the weekend. Although some continue to play politics while Joe works, Hoosiers are quickly seeing that attacks on him aren’t sticking.

From the South Bend TribuneRepublicans seek Donnelly’s help to end shutdown

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly could play a key role in whether Congress is able to end the federal government shutdown today.

The Senate was expected to vote at noon on a compromise to temporarily extend funding to government agencies, after such a vote failed early Saturday.

“The most basic duty of Congress is to fund the federal government, and I voted to keep the government running,” Donnelly said in a statement. “I am incredibly disappointed Congress failed to prevent a shutdown.”

From The HillLive coverage: Government shutdown stretches into second day

A group of Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans are now huddling with their respective leadership teams to pitch a bipartisan proposal to reopen the government.

“We have some pretty solid ideas that we’re pitching to both Sen. [Mitch] McConnell [R-Ky.] and Sen. Schumer,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) as he walked into Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer's (D-N.Y.) office.”

From The Washington PostModerate senators race to strike a deal to end government shutdown

As the clock ticked toward the 1 a.m. Monday vote — set by McConnell in part because of arcane Senate rules, in part to keep round-the-clock pressure on Democrats — the moderates made the most visible progress toward a deal. Among the participants in the Collins meeting were a number of Democrats who are seeking reelection in states Trump won in 2016 — five of whom voted Fridayagainst sparking the shutdown in the first place.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), one of the five Democrats who crossed over on Friday, said he and other Democrats met with Schumer on Sunday morning.

‘The pitch is we need to do what’s right for the country and he does, too. He feels the same way, and that’s what we’re trying to do,’ said Donnelly, who faces a tough reelection fight in a state Trump won.

From The New York Times: Here Are the Senators Trying to Find a Bipartisan Solution to the Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON — On the second day of the shutdown, a bipartisan group of senators emerged as a primary force behind the effort to end the gridlock and reopen the government. More than 20 lawmakers, some facing challenging re-election bids, met behind closed doors looking for a compromise.

…Joe Donnelly of Indiana…

From Axios: Shutdown status update

A majority of members want the government to reopen as soon as possible. They don't want to wake up in D.C. on Monday with a significant number of federal workers and military employees furloughed. A core group of "centrist" Republican and Democratic senators — including Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Joe Manchin, Christopher Coons, and Joe Donnelly — are trying to work through a "deal."

From The Herald BulletinKen de la Bastide column: Government shutdown a sign of failed leadership

With… Donnelly in what has been predicted as one of the key U.S. Senate races this year, there were some Indiana Republicans that remarked his “yes” vote didn’t mean anything. The contention is that since the Democrats had the votes to defeat the funding measure in hand, Donnelly was free to vote yes for political reasons.

If that’s the case, why would the votes of Rokita and Messer have any more meaning? Both are seeking the GOP nomination to oppose Donnelly in the fall election.

That argument will not hold water with most Hoosiers.