The federal government will go into a third day of a
partial shutdown after the Senate failed to break an impasse on
Leaders announced on the floor that no deal had been
reached and the shutdown will stretch into day three.
Democrats continue to ask for a commitment for the GOP
to consider immigration, healthcare, and spending policies
while Republicans are holding firm on their original
As the federal government will head into a third day of
a partial government shutdown, there appears to be little
progress toward a deal.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to break the
impasse with a motion to pass a short-term funding deal, but it
was blocked by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer said
the two sides “have yet to reach an agreement” on a
bill to open the government.
A vote on a funding bill that would keep the government open was
pushed back to noon on Monday instead of the original 1 am ET
The announcement of no deal capped a Sunday of negotiations, a
bipartisan group of senators attempted to hash out a deal and get
their respective parties’ leaders onboard, but no breakthrough
Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the main negotiators of the group,
told reporters that the deal was shaping up and Democrats needed
to jump on board.
“It’s up to Democrats to find a way to get to yes,” Graham said.
“[Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] has given me a way to
yes. And I would argue I care as much about getting immigration
resolved as anyone in the body.”
In terms of actual policy, Democrats are fighting to pass a
short-term funding extension combined with assurances that
legislation to codify the
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration
be considered soon.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, told Business Insider that
he backs a funding bill that lasts a few days in order to work
out a deal on legislative issues.
“If McConnell would open the government tonight and let us
negotiate for two or three more days, we could come to a deal,”
The back-and-forth coincided with a slew of finger pointing for
the shutdown, which began at midnight as Friday turned to
Schumer attacked President Donald Trump for backing out of a
broad deal to address immigration, health care, and funding on
Friday. Trump used the bully pulpit of Twitter to attack Schumer
and Democrats for “taking the Military hostage” during the
shutdown. And members of both parties lobbed insults during tense
meetings in Congress.
Republicans, particularly in the House, drew a hard line that
there would be no DACA negotiations until the government is open
and are pushing back for a longer short-term funding bill, called
a continuing resolution (CR).
Both chambers of Congress are scheduled to be in session on
The negotiations on Saturday to try and resolve the shutdown were
According to reports, Schumer and Senate Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell did not speak during the day, instead relying on
GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake — who both defied their
party and voted against the funding bill on Friday — to broker a
The main sticking point appears to be the length of a funding
bill, which would allow the two sides to work out differences on
a broader funding deal and possible DACA solution.
Republicans are pushing for a three week extension, to February
8, while Democrats are seeking something even shorter to try and
add more pressure to negotiations. The original CR would have
pushed the next shutdown deadline to February 16.
Democrats are also pushing for some sort of commitment on DACA,
the Obama-era program that protects nearly 700,000 undocumented
immigrants who were brought to the US as minors from deportation.
House Republicans have complicated any discussion of the issue,
as any Senate bill could die in the lower chamber.
Senate Republicans have rejected the idea that there should be a
commitment to vote or a vote on DACA before the government
“Turning the agenda over to Democrats who just shut down
the government makes no sense to me,” Cornyn said Sunday. “It
just seems like it encourages bad behavior.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan and House GOP leaders refused to consider
any DACA solution on Saturday, saying that the focus should be
exclusively on funding the government.
“Open the government back up and then we’ll get back to
negotiating,” Ryan said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed similar sentiments
“I think it’s more difficult to get any agreement on DACA in a
shutdown,” McCarthy told reporters.
Based on comments Saturday, it appears that Senate Democrats are
waiting for Senate Republicans to give them a commitment for a
DACA vote from House Republicans before they agree to open the
Democrats said that a vote on a DACA solution, preferably
attached as a part of another piece of must pass legislation, was
needed to get their cooperation.
“It depends on whether it’s part of a must-pass bill. That
is my strong preference. The goal is to have the DREAMer Act
passed,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal
told Politico on Sunday. “I have no confidence, zero, in Paul
Ryan bringing that bill to the floor.”
Senate Republicans say they are unable to bind House Republicans
to any deal. House Republicans refuse to consider any deal that
may appease Senate Democrats and say they are not part of the
All the while, the White House and Trump are lobbing attacks at
Democrats and do not appear to be actively involved in any
If it’s any indication of how the negotiations are going, a large
TV was rolled into McConnell’s office just as the NFL game
between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles began.
As for the schedule, the biggest deadline appears to be a vote
scheduled by McConnell for 1 a.m. ET on Monday, which would allow
debate to go forward on the CR with a February 8 deadline. If no
deal is reached before that time, the bill could be blocked
In that case, it would be almost inevitable that the shutdown
would last well into the week. Roughly 800,000 federal employees
could wake up on Monday locked out of their jobs and unsure of
when their next paychecks will come.