Mitch McConnell and Chuck
Schumer
Getty
Images/Pool

  • After the Senate failed to pass a funding bill Friday
    night, the federal government is now in a partial
    shutdown.
  • The two parties in the Senate failed to reach an
    agreement on immigration, funding, healthcare, or the timing of
    a shutdown delay.
  • The Senate will reconvene at 12 p.m. ET to continue
    their work, while the House is on standby in case a bill passes
    that needs another vote.

The federal government is
currently in a partial shutdown
after the Senate failed to
pass a funding bill late Friday night.

Deliberations between the Democratic and Republican party
leaderships are
ongoing in an attempt to re-open the government
, but the two
sides are also engaged in a nasty blame game over the funding
fight.

It’s unclear just how close the parties are to a deal, but both
the House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene on Saturday to
continue their work.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal workers are
left locked out of their jobs and unsure of when their next
paycheck will arrive.

What happened last night

Shortly after midnight, the Office of Management and Budget sent
a memo to federal agencies directing them to initiate contingency
plans due to the failure of the Senate to pass a bill funding the
government.

This officially kicked off the government shutdown, but was also
the culmination of
a wild day of negotiations
.

Democrats held a significant number of the cards in the shutdown
fight since the House-passed funding bill, called a continuing
resolution (CR), needed 60 votes in the Senate to avoid a
filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell worked throughout the day to try and come to an
agreement on a range of issues and avoid the shutdown, but in the
end a deal never came.

Schumer even went to the White House to negotiate a deal with
President Donald Trump directly. According to Schumer, the two
men
agreed to a wide-ranging deal
on everything from immigration
to military funding.

The deal included funding for Trump’s border wall, said Schumer,
in exchange for the codification of the Deferred Action for Child
Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, which protects roughly 700,000
undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as minors from
deportation, was the key sticking point for Democrats.

Trump announced that he would end the program in September, but
gave Congress until March to codify it into law. Democrats
attempted to
force a vote on the DACA issue
as part of a funding deal to
increase its chances of passage.

Despite reaching a deal, Schumer said Trump and the GOP reneged
on the offer soon after the Democrat returned to Congress,
scuttling a grand bargain.

With the Trump-Schumer deal dead, Democrats and many Republicans
scrambled to agree to a shorter-term CR than the one offered by
the House. The House bill extended the shutdown deadline until
February 16, and Democrats wanted a bill that kept the government
open for five days in order to get a deal on DACA and more.

Republicans counter-offered with a delay until February 8, which
Democrats rejected. In the end no deal was reached, most
Democrats and a handful of Republicans rejected the House bill,
and the shutdown began.

Moving forward

Work to re-open the government began almost as soon as the
funding lapsed, with lawmakers from both parties conferring on
the Senate floor about a deal until after 1 a.m. ET.

With no agreement yet in place, the Senate will reconvene at 12
p.m. ET, and a vote on the February 8 deadline proposal will
occur shortly following the resumption of business.

Members from both parties seemed open to the February 8 deadline,
and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham — who voted against the House-passed
CR — was optimistic on Saturday morning.

“After extensive discussions with senators on both sides of the
aisle, I believe such a proposal would pass if there was a
commitment that after February 8th the Senate would
move to an immigration debate with an open amendment process if
no alternative agreement was reached with the White House and
House of Representatives,” Graham said in a statement.

Any deal that makes changes to the House-passed funding measure
will require a new vote on changes by the House.

Anticipating a new deal, the House leaderships told their members
to stay close for the weekend and the chamber will also be in
session on Saturday.

Blame game

While the two sides are attempting to work toward a deal, leaders
from each party are also hurling insults and blaming the other
for the current predicament.

Trump took to his usual platform of Twitter on Saturday morning

to sarcastically thank the Democrats
for the shutdown.

“This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the
Democrats wanted to give me a nice present,” President Donald
Trump tweeted,
#DemocratShutdown.”

Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence and McConnell
launched their own attacks on Saturday blaming the Democrats for
shutting down the government over illegal immigration.

Democrats, on the other hand, pointed out that this will be the
first time that a government shuts down and sends employees on
furlough in the modern budget era when one party controls the
House, Senate, and White House. Republicans pointed out that
Democrats were needed to get the Senate bill over a filibuster.

Democrats also said that a larger deal could have been possible
if not for Trump, whom Schumer blamed for the dysfunction.

“This will be called the Trump shutdown,” Schumer said.
“This will be called the Trump shutdown because there is no one,
no one, who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves
in other than President Trump.”

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