Shutdown fight turns ugly as both sides dig in

Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill lashed out at each other on Day One of the government shutdown Saturday, trading barbs and casting blame as a resolution to the funding impasse seemed nowhere in sight.

The rhetoric took a harsh turn, with Democrats complaining that President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE is an erratic, unreliable negotiating partner and Republicans bemoaning Democrats’ intransigence over what the GOP sees as unreasonable immigration demands.

“Both sides are dug in. … I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re here tomorrow,” Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellLawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrate 75th anniversary, longest-married presidential couple Jan. 6 probe poised to spill into 2022, with no complaints from Democrats MORE (D-N.J.) told The Hill after huddling with fellow House Democrats in the basement of the Capitol.

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Both chambers are in session Saturday — a rare weekend workday when many lawmakers were griping about risking vacation plans and overseas trips. But no votes are scheduled to reopen the government as the sides continue to air their grievances in press conferences and on cable news shows.

With neither Republicans nor Democrats willing to budge, congressional leaders let the insults fly on Capitol Hill and it increasingly looked like the shutdown would run into the work week, furloughing hundreds of thousands of workers.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPoll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime America's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters trying to work out a deal with Trump was like “negotiating with Jell-O,” while House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions Overnight Health Care: Average daily COVID infections topped last summer's peak, CDC says | US reaches 70 percent vaccination goal a month after Biden's target | White House says CDC can't renew eviction ban Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban MORE (D-Calif.) used a floor speech to decry Trump’s “all-around incompetence” and “inefficiency.”

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (R-Wis.), meanwhile, placed blame for the shutdown solely at the feet of Senate Democrats: “One party in one house of this Congress is deliberately holding this government hostage.”

Added Trump on Twitter: “Democrats are holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can’t let that happen!”

After the House Democratic Caucus meeting, Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHouse bill targets US passport backlog Democrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe Tlaib, Democrats slam GOP calls for border oversight to fight opioid crisis MORE (D-Va.) said he’s increasingly “pessimistic about reopening the government in any kind of expeditious way.”

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The reason?

“Largely because of the intransigence of Republican leadership,” he said.

Neither party appeared to even agree on what should be the first step to ending the government shutdown.

Republicans insisted that the government needed to reopen before they would resume negotiations on immigration. Members of both parties have been in talks about shielding immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation in exchange for enhanced border security.

The Trump administration first made plans to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted temporary work permits for some of those immigrants, last year.

“We want to address the issue of the DACA recipients and the reforms necessary to close loopholes and make sure our borders are secure. But it’s got to be done in an environment where somebody isn’t holding people hostage over that,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.).

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE (R-Calif.), who has been in talks with Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinCongress should butt out of Supreme Court's business Inmates grapple with uncertainty over Biden prison plan Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (D-Ill.) and House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse bundling is bad for deliberation CBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium Top House Democrats call on Biden administration to extend eviction moratorium MORE (D-Md.), said “we’ll go back to the table when the government’s back open."

GOP leaders, particularly Ryan, have been adamantly opposed to attaching any DACA provision to a spending bill, saying it’s an independent issue that should be addressed separately.

“We have been, and we continue to be, willing to work together in good faith on immigration,” Ryan said Saturday on the House floor.

Pelosi, meanwhile, insisted that lawmakers need to agree on parity between defense and nondefense spending, disaster relief, a path for DACA and other priorities before supporting another stopgap measure, or continuing resolution (CR).

“It’s no use having another CR unless we have the terms of engagement of how we go forward on the … parity, on the pay-fors, on the pensions, on the DACA and on the border security,” Pelosi said at a press conference in the Capitol.

The three-week spending proposal offered by Senate GOP leaders includes a promise to vote on a DACA bill by Feb. 8. But many Democrats are quick to note that a vote in the upper chamber is no guarantee that Ryan would take it up. Indeed, the Speaker has said he won’t support any measure that doesn’t have the backing of the president, and Trump last week rejected the bipartisan DACA deal secured by Durbin and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate MORE (R-S.C.).

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Many House Democrats are hinging their support for a CR on stronger assurances that DACA protections become law.

“Let’s say they give them a vote in the Senate. It doesn’t solve the impasse if Republicans in the House [don’t follow suit],” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said Saturday.

“This is going to take Speaker Ryan to say, ‘I will give them a vote.’ ”

Alexander Bolton contributed