- A House-passed stopgap bill that would avoid a government shutdown fizzled out in the Senate late Friday night.
- The White House blamed Democrats for the measure’s failure, even as four Republican senators opposed it.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will offer an amendment to extend government funding until Feb. 8.
A House-passed stopgap bill that would avoid a government shutdown fizzled out in the Senate late Friday night, leaving Congress negotiating frantically as the midnight deadline to fund the government passed.
The measure failed in a procedural vote by a 50 to 49 margin. Five Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama and Claire McCaskill of Missouri — had backed it. Four Republicans — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — opposed it. So did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for procedural reasons.
As nearly all Democrats and some Republicans opposed the measure that failed to work its way through Congress on Friday, lawmakers saw government funding lapse, at least temporarily. The proposal that failed in the Senate would have funded the government through Feb. 16 and reauthorized the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years.
As the vote remained open into early Saturday morning, several bipartisan senators appeared to confer about a way forward. McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer then walked off the Senate floor together, only to return and continue talks with other senators. Numerous senators crowded around Schumer as the clock hit midnight.
Negotiations and potentially votes are expected to continue over the weekend and into next week. McConnell said he will offer an amendment to extend government funding until Feb. 8, which Sen. Lindsey Graham championed on Friday.
Deadline Passes, Triggering Shutdown; Senate Rejects Short-Term Spending Bill
Both chambers were expected to be in session Saturday, continuing discussions over how to resolve underlying disputes
WASHINGTON—The Senate rejected a one-month spending bill early Saturday, triggering the shutdown of many government services and setting off a partisan fight over who would bear the political consequences.
In a dramatic night of failed negotiations, Senate leaders extended the vote on the House’s short-term bill for more than an hour late Friday night as lawmakers attempted to strike a deal to avoid the shutdown. But efforts to agree to a stopgap measure floundered, leaving Congress with no way to avert the first major shutdown of a government under one party’s control.
Five Democrats voted for the bill, which five Republicans opposed, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), so that he could bring it up for another vote later.
“What we have just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political games,” Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor after the vote.
We’ve Heard It All Before. Shutdown Talk in 2013 Compared to Today.
It’s déjà vu. The fiery rhetoric that lawmakers lobbed at each other in 2013, during the last government shutdown, echoes today as another shutdown took effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, Saturday.
The sentiments on Twitter, in floor speeches and interviews are similar, but who is saying them has changed. In 2013, during the Obama administration, the Democrats had control of the Senate and the Republicans controlled the House. Now, under President Trump, the Republicans control both chambers.
Here’s a look at the statements made and who said them, now that the political roles are largely reversed.
Trump budget chief predicts shutdown deal within 24 hours