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 ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations Mark Kelly says he'll back changing filibuster rule for voting rights MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp11 former Democratic senators call for 'meaningful reform to Senate rules' Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies Virginia loss lays bare Democrats' struggle with rural voters MORE (N.D.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillBiden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies On The Trail: Trump-inspired challengers target GOP governors MORE (Mo.), who are all up for reelection this year in states carried by President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE in 2016 election, and newly elected Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.).
Republicans were also not united, as Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulI'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Trump slams Biden, voices unsubstantiated election fraud claims at first rally of 2022 MORE (Ky.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (S.C.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSchumer ramps up filibuster fight ahead of Jan. 6 anniversary Juan Williams: The GOP is an anti-America party Manchin faces pressure from Gillibrand, other colleagues on paid family leave MORE (Utah) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCruz to get Nord Stream 2 vote as part of deal on Biden nominees Democrats threaten to play hardball over Cruz's blockade Rubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees MORE (Ariz.) also voted against advancing the legislation. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities 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 MulvaneyMick MulvaneyTrump's relocation of the Bureau of Land Management was part of a familiar Republican playbook Jan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision 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 McConnellDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Mellman: Voting rights or the filibuster? Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate 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 SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote 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.
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 DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Democrats, poised for filibuster defeat, pick at old wounds Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema 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 CornynAll hostages free, safe after hours-long standoff at Texas synagogue: governor McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster MORE (Texas), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation MORE (R-Calif.), and House Democratic Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Hoyer calls for 'clear and prudent firearms guidelines' from Capitol Police Board Desperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size 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.