President Donald Trump threatened a government shutdown for months. He got one when the clock turned to Saturday.
Congress missed a midnight deadline to finance nine departments, or about a quarter of the authorities. Regions of the government closed after Congress adjourned before Friday night without striking a bargain on seven spending bills.
Lawmakers failed to reach a financing agreement as Trump demanded $5 billion because of his proposed wall along the border with Mexico. Democrats refused. Subsequently House Republicans dug in, declining to pass a bill to keep the government running into February following the president threatened to veto it Thursday.
A hurry to dodge a shutdown Friday day and night yielded few results. Both the House and Senate are set to convene again on Saturday as lawmakers attempt to break the impasse.
The political struggle will impact hundreds of thousands of Americans, possibly over Christmas and in the new year. Over 420,000 federal employees are projected to operate temporarily without cover. About another 380,000 government workers are expected to confront furloughs.
White House officials and congressional leaders held spending discussions Friday night, even after the House and Senate adjourned at about 8 and 7 pm ET, respectively. A fast resolution appeared unlikely through the afternoon, and Democrats showed no signs of caving early Saturday.
In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated Trump “threw a temper tantrum and convinced House Republicans to push our nation into a destructive Trump shutdown in the middle of the holiday season.” They seemed prepared for the closed to continue past Jan. 3, which is when Democrats will take control of the home and Pelosi will probably become speaker.
“Democrats have offered Republicans multiple proposals to keep the government open, including one that already passed the Senate unanimously, and all of which include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security — not the president’s ineffective and expensive wall,” they stated. “If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January.”
Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut sections of the authorities as he failed to procure money for the barrier. The president had ensured his wall, a regularly repeated campaign promise that drew chants of support throughout his agendas. Would be covered by Mexico. America’s southern neighbor rebuffed him, however, so he has turned to government financing.
Last week, Trump said he’d be “proud” to shut down the government for border security. During a televised Oval Office fracas, he told Schumer: “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”
Despite his assurance that he would have the closures, Trump tried to blame Democrats Friday. In a video posted to Twitter late Friday night, he said “there’s nothing we can do” concerning the shutdown “because we need the Democrats to give us their votes.”
“The shutdown hopefully will not last long,” he said, reiterating his call for a “great barrier” in the Shape of “a wall or a slat fence or whatever you want to call it.”
In a memo to agencies Friday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney wrote that “agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.” He noted that “we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration.”
Lawmakers already financed the sprawling Defense and Health and Human Services departments, amongst others. The unfunded departments include Homeland Security, Justice and State.
It will probably take at least into Sunday to finish the third government shutdown of this year. Congressional leaders were expected to provide members 24 hours of notice prior to a vote.
Both the Senate and House passed spending bills this week, but the chambers couldn’t agree on one they wanted to pass. On Wednesday, the Senate approved a short term measure to fund the government through Feb. 8, with no wall cash. A lot of members left Washington, believing the House would pass it.
Then on Thursday, Republican leaders couldn’t convince members that Trump would back the measure as hardline conservatives urged him to veto it. The GOP then added more than $5 billion in wall cash, in addition to disaster relief funds, to the short-term invoice. It passed the House, but was dead on arrival in the Senate on Friday.
It’s unclear what could pass both chambers of Congress now. The Senate advanced the House-passed bill to the ground Friday, with the objective of using the laws to embrace whatever deal congressional leaders could achieve with the White House.
Schumer has provided the Trump administration three possible solutions. He’s suggested the bill the Senate passed Wednesday. The other two choices Democrats floated are six spending bills and combined with a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security, or seven continuing resolutions for the remaining unfunded departments.
Senators from both parties had discussed a possible deal to put $1.6 billion toward border fencing and security — although not a wall as Trump describes it. It wasn’t immediately clear how badly they were contemplating that solution.