Hopes fade as shutdown clock ticks down

Hopes in Congress for a breakthrough deal on immigration that would avert a potential government shutdown are fading with only a few hours left before federal funding expires at midnight.

The Senate is scheduled to vote at 10 p.m. on a four-week spending stopgap passed Thursday by the House but it is expected to fall well short of the 60 votes needed to advance.

So far, only three Democrats, Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOn The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed Pro-life Christians are demanding pollution protections MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySome in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care MORE (Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward MORE (N.D.), have said they will vote yes.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference Pelosi: Barr press briefing a 'staggering partisan effort' MORE (N.Y.) told reporters after meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE at the White House that “a good number of disagreements” remain, dashing hopes of a quick solution to the impasse.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks McConnell: 'Past time' for immigration-border security deal MORE (Ill.), emerging from an afternoon meeting with Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBoth sides were wrong about Mueller report, and none of it will likely matter for 2020 Elijah Cummings: 'I am begging the American people to pay attention to what's going on' Angus King: 'Mueller passed the obstruction question to the Congress and Barr intercepted the pass' MORE (Calif.) said “everything is on the table.”

Durbin said there were “some positive developments,” but added, “I still think there’s ongoing conversations.”

Instead of agreeing to a framework on immigration that Democrats could use to justify voting for a temporary government funding measure, Trump told Schumer to work out his differences with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Overnight Health Care: McConnell offering bill to raise tobacco-buying age to 21 | NC gov vetoes 'born alive' abortion bill | CMS backs off controversial abortion proposal HR 1 brings successful local, state reforms to the federal level and deserves passage MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty MORE (R-Wis.), essentially putting the talks back to square one.

“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,” Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn Cornyn Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Trump struggles to reshape Fed Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks MORE (R-Texas) said, summarizing the discussion between Trump and Schumer. 

A senior Senate Democratic aide said Durbin’s claim that “everything is on the table” meant negotiators still have to close out agreements on the spending caps and disaster relief, in addition to immigration reform.

Both Schumer and Durbin appeared deflated by the outcome of the White House meeting.

At the very least, a quick fix on immigration does not seem likely. 

White House budget director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Trump ditches one-on-one meetings with vice president: report MORE, in a CNN interview, said negotiators have Saturday and Sunday to reach a deal because the impact of a government shutdown would not be felt until federal offices are scheduled to open Monday.

“I think there’s a deal in the next 24 hours,” he said, adding, “I look at it more in terms of what gets done before offices are supposed to open on Monday.” 

But lawmakers are less confident about a deal emerging in the next few hours. 

“Honestly, I wish I knew,” said Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordHow Republicans are battling judicial obstructionism today GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump GOP to go 'nuclear' with rules change for Trump nominations MORE (R-Okla.), who has been involved in the immigration talks, when asked about the prospect of a compromise.

“I can’t tell what they’re asking for,” he said of Democratic demands on immigration. 

Democrats say they have been clear: They want to give legal status to an estimated 800,000 "Dreamers," saving them from deportation.

They want to pass an immigration deal agreed to by a bipartisan group of six senators.

But Trump and a majority of the Senate GOP conference says that bill doesn’t do enough to strengthen border security or enforce the law against people who slip into the country illegally.

It will be a heavy lift to get an immigration agreement hammered out in the next day, however.

The No. 2-ranking leaders in both chambers, Durbin, Cornyn, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyWatchdog: Custodial staff alleged sexual harassment in lawmakers' offices John Legend, Chrissy Teigen lash out at Trump at Dem retreat Republicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ MORE (R-Calif.) and House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Dem lawmaker: There isn't a crime Trump could commit that would cause GOP to turn on him MORE (D-Md.), were supposed to be handling the immigration talks. 

But as of 6 p.m., they hadn’t yet met on Friday. A meeting that had been scheduled for 11:30 am was pushed back to 1 p.m. and then postponed indefinitely. 

Republicans involved in the immigration negotiations say there’s still a lot of work to be done. 

“We’ve got to get serious. It’s been really weird. They haven’t wanted to be serious,” Lankford said of Democrats’ attitude in the negotiations. 

He said Democrats are using an outdated playbook from 2013, when they passed comprehensive immigration reform through the Senate with unanimous Democratic support and votes from 14 Republicans.

“Their assumption is this is like 2013, and this is going to be a big Democratic bill with a few Republicans on board and we’ll rush it through and force the president to [sign] it,” he said.

Lankford said the political environment has changed dramatically over the past five years as Republicans now control the White House, Senate and House. In 2013, Republicans controlled the House only.

Democrats, however, counter that Republicans are the ones who have not been serious about replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump rescinded in September. 

Durbin says Trump gave Congress six months to help immigrants who came to the country at a young age and now face deportation. The March 5 deadline is fast approaching. 

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

Republicans still think Democrats will buckle under pressure and vote for a four-week House-passed spending measure that would keep the government open until Feb. 16. It would also fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years and delay the implementation of three unpopular ObamaCare taxes.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters Friday that the president wants to sign the monthlong House stopgap measure.