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  • A key vote on a short-term government funding bill
    failed in the Senate.
  • The vote’s failure led the federal government into a
    partial shutdown early Saturday morning, the first in more than
    four years.
  • Democrats opposed the bill because it did not codify
    the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Some Republicans voted against the bill because it did
    not provide enough certainty to the military.

The federal government slipped into its first partial shutdown in
more than four years early Saturday morning, as the Senate voted
against a key procedural step to pass a short-term funding bill
Friday night.

The cloture vote, which allows a bill to proceed without a
filibuster, failed to get the 60 votes needed for passage. The
vote closed with a final vote of 50 to 49. Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell voted against the measure so that he could
reconsider the motion.

While the vote remained open, the funding for the government ran
out at midnight. Technically, a full shutdown would be triggered
when the Office of Management and Budget releases a memo
directing agencies to enact contingency plans they have already
prepared for such a scenario.

All but five Democrats voted to block the short-term bill that
would have sustained federal funding at current levels, called a
continuing resolution (CR). Most cited the fact that the measure

did not include a permanent solution
for the Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.

Four Democrats who voted for the bill — Joe Donnelly, Joe
Manchin, Claire McCaskill, and Heidi Heitkamp — are all from
states that President Donald Trump won and are up for reelection
in 2018. New senator Doug Jones of Alabama, a deep-red state, was
the only other defection.

Trump announced he would end the DACA program in September, but
he gave Congress six months to codify it into law. With the March
deadline approaching, Democrats demanded that a DACA fix be
included in the CR.

According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump agreed
to a deal that included protections for DACA and even some
funding for a border wall.

“In exchange for strong DACA protections, I reluctantly put
the border wall on the table for discussion,” Schumer said. “Even
that was not enough to entice the president to finish the

In addition to the Democratic wall, a handful of Republican
senators voted against the bill. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mike
Lee voted against due to concerns about the adequacy of another
CR in funding the government. The bill would have only funded the
government through February 16. Sen. Rand Paul also voted against
the bill because of its addition to the national debt. Jeff Flake
also voted no.

The White House decried the vote’s failure in a statement from
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” Sanders
said. “
Tonight, they put politics above
our national security, military families, vulnerable children,
and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will
not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats
hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.
This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not

McConnell told members during a speech after the shutdown kicked
in that an amendment would be offered to push the deadline to
February 8 instead of February 16 as in the House bill. This
would require the House to revote on the bill, but is closer to
the Democrats’ request for a shorter CR to finish off

According to Senate rules, the vote on that amendment could not
come until later on Saturday at the earliest.

Based on public comments, it appears no one deal currently has
the support of enough members to pass the 60-vote threshold. But
members were upbeat.

GOP Sen. Bob Corker told reporters that the two sides were
closing in on a deal and it was “a date in early February, a few
days apart.”

The failure of the bill is the culmination of a day of wrangling
in which Schumer
met with Trump
in an attempt to get a compromise which did
not come.

House Republicans attempted to sweeten the bill by
attaching funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program
for the next six years, but it was not enough to win
over Democrats.

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