Senate rejects funding bill, partial shutdown begins

Senators voted late Friday to reject a House-passed bill that would have funded the government until Feb. 16, beginning a partial government shutdown.

Most Democrats voted to block the bill as part of a risky strategy to force Republicans to negotiate with them on a legislative fix for "Dreamers," immigrants who illegally came to the country at a young age and now face the prospect of deportation. The procedural motion on the bill failed 50-49.

Only five Democrats voted to advance the bill — Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Overnight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Polling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Polling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions MORE (N.D.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Polling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes MORE (Mo.), who are all up for reelection this year in states carried by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE in 2016 election, and newly elected Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.).

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Republicans were also not united, as Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia GOP leader blocks resolution backing intelligence community on Russia Rand Paul blocks Sanders's Russia resolution, calls it 'crazy hatred' against Trump MORE (Ky.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Questions linger over Trump-Putin summit Soccer ball Putin gifted to Trump gets routine security screening Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ MORE (S.C.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (Utah) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains GOP to White House: End summit mystery The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia MORE (Ariz.) also voted against advancing the legislation. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Memo: Summit fallout hits White House Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ Obama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena MORE (R-Ariz.), who is battling brain cancer, was absent.

The procedural vote remained open for roughly two hours on Friday night, remaining well below the needed 60 votes to pass.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Trump pick to head watchdog agency is who consumers need Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE issued a memorandum instructing agencies to begin a shutdown.

The memo said that because OMB does not have a clear signal from Congress that it will act to fund the government, it is necessary to execute plans "for an orderly shutdown" due to the absence of appropriations.

It said OMB would offer additional guidance as appropriate.

While a partial shutdown has started, Mulvaney earlier in the day suggested the negative effects of a shutdown would not completely be felt until Monday, when hundreds of thousands of workers would be furloughed.

The closure will mark the first time that the government has been shuttered since 2013, when a shutdown carried on for 16 days as a band of Republicans tried to dismantle ObamaCare.

Republicans are blaming Senate Democrats for the latest shutdown, arguing their refusal to agree to a one-month stopgap passed on a largely party-line vote in the House caused the shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress GOP to White House: End summit mystery Sunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ky.) delayed the vote until late Friday evening as part of an effort to raise pressure on Democrats.

A meeting at the White House earlier on Friday between Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerData confirm that marijuana decriminalization is long overdue Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Democrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans MORE (N.Y.) and President Trump failed to break the stalemate, though both sides said some progress had been made.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Schumer said he had made concessions in the talks with Trump, even offering to consider his proposal for a southern border wall — an idea that Democrats had long called a non-starter.

"During the meeting, in exchange for strong [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for the discussion. Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal," Schumer said from the Senate floor.
 
"In my heart, I thought we might have a deal tonight. That was how far we had come. That's how positive our discussion felt. We had a good meeting," he said.

McConnell in his own floor speech castigated Democrats, saying they have forced a "completely avoidable" shutdown.

"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," he said from the Senate floor.

The funding fight is set to spill over into Saturday, when both the House and Senate will be in session.

McConnell late Friday announced he would move to amend the government funding bill so that it funds the government until Feb. 8.

A vote on that bill could be held Saturday, but it's unclear whether it will pass. Schumer said congressional leaders should meet at the White House with Trump to finalize an agreement on immigration and the broader government funding package.

Republicans and Democrats spent most of Friday blaming each other for the looming shutdown.

“This is completely unfair and uncompassionate for my Democratic colleagues to filibuster government funding, harm our troops and jeopardize health coverage for 9 million children because extreme elements of their base want illegal immigration to crowd out every other priority,” McConnell said.

He says immigration reform should be handled separately from the spending bills and wants Trump to sign off on an immigration deal before it comes to the Senate floor.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinChicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate MORE (Ill.) took to the floor after McConnell to blast Republicans for failing to make substantial progress after Trump tasked Congress with replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“So what has the Republican majority in the House and Senate done in the four and a half months since we received that challenge from President Trump? Nothing. Nothing,” he said

Trump administration officials hoped up until the last moment that Democrats would change their mind and vote for the House-passed stopgap, even though they made it clear they saw it as unacceptable.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters Friday evening that he still hoped that Democrats would let the House bill pass.

Negotiations on an immigration proposal to grant legal status to "Dreamers" and boost security along the U.S.-Mexico border seemed to go backwards.

The No. 2-ranking leaders in both chambers, Durbin, Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Senate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senators push to clear backlog in testing rape kits MORE (Texas), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders clash over resolution backing ICE House backs resolution expressing support for ICE House GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE MORE (R-Calif.), and House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia House leaders clash over resolution backing ICE Hoyer calls on GOP to bring up election security amendment MORE (D-Md.), had been tasked with leading the immigration talks.

But a meeting of these four leaders that had been scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Friday, and then postponed to 1 p.m., never happened.

Instead, Cornyn and McCarthy met separately and reported making some progress.

Cornyn applauded Trump for rejecting a bipartisan Senate deal crafted by three Democrats and three Republicans, including Durbin, Flake and Graham.

“The president did the right thing. He told him look, you go back and you talk to the Speaker and the Senate majority leader and you guys work that out,” Cornyn said, summarizing Trump’s conversation with Schumer about immigration earlier in the day.

Facing a stalemate on immigration, Schumer has shifted the argument slightly by arguing that Democrats are justified in opposing the short-term spending bill because funding the government with a series of stopgaps creates uncertainty for defense and nondefense programs.

In an unusual move, the Democratic leader decried the potential impact on the military, which is usually a Republican talking point.

“The Pentagon thinks this [continuing resolution] is wrong for our military,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday night, reading a statement from a Dana White, the chief Defense Department spokeswoman, who called the succession of stopgap spending measures “wasteful and destructive.”

Schumer also wants to negotiate an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program for longer than the six-years included in the House bill, as well as higher spending caps for domestic federal programs.

But the stalemate over immigration policy is the biggest holdup.

Republicans oppose the bipartisan bill favored by the Senate Democratic leadership, arguing it does not do enough to enhance border security.

Updated at 1:30 a.m.