Senate in last-minute talks to find deal to avert shutdown 

Vice President Pence, incoming White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNielsen was warned not to talk to Trump about new Russian election interference: report Oversight chair wants to hold ex-White House official in contempt Consumer bureau to give firms more info about investigations MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHasan Minhaj calls out Kushner at event over ties to Saudi crown prince Kushner saying immigration plan will be 'neutral' on legal admissions: report Dems charge ahead on immigration MORE met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage MORE (N.Y.) on Friday afternoon in a last-ditch effort to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Funding for 25 percent of the federal government is due to expire at the end of Friday absent a deal.

The meeting with senior administration officials and the Democratic leader is one of several negotiations taking place in the Senate on Friday as lawmakers wrangles over how to deal with a House-passed bill that keeps the government funded until Feb. 8 and also provides $5.7 billion for a border wall. 

The negotiations later moved over to the House, with Pence, Mulvaney and Kushner huddling in Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE’s (R-Wis.) ceremonial office with Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph Scalise20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure This week: Democrats revive net neutrality fight MORE (R-La.), Freedom Caucus leaders Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDems digging into Trump finances post-Mueller Overnight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Cummings accuses Oversight Republicans of obstructing drug price probe MORE (R-Ohio) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerMembers spar over sexual harassment training deadline Colorado state senators plan to introduce bill to let NCAA athletes get paid Republicans offer 'free market alternative' to paid family leave MORE (R-N.C.). 
A motion to proceed to the House bill sat stalled on the Senate floor for most of the afternoon Friday with the vote frozen 44-46 — short of the majority needed to move it. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE earlier in the day warned he is ready to shut the government down over the border wall and blamed Democrats for obstruction, while reversing his comments last week that he would own such a shutdown.

“The Democrats now own the shutdown!” Trump tweeted Friday.

The president also warned on Twitter that a shutdown “will last for a very long time.”

Retiring Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakePollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Flake opens up about threats against him and his family MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerEx-GOP Sen. Corker: Trump primary would be 'good thing for our country' Pollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) are trying to negotiate a bipartisan deal with Democrats that could pass both chambers, win the president’s signature and avoid a government shutdown.

Flake and Corker were spotted chatting with Democratic centrists including Sens. 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.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Energy: Trump moves to crack down on Iranian oil exports | Florida lawmakers offer bill to ban drilling off state's coast | Bloomberg donates .5M to Paris deal Florida lawmakers offer bill to ban drilling off state's coast Angus King: 'Mueller passed the obstruction question to the Congress and Barr intercepted the pass' MORE (I-Maine) on the Senate floor.

Flake is pushing a deal that would reauthorize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for border wall funding. 

Flake voted against a motion to proceed to the House-passed stopgap because Democrats have vowed to defeat it and he wants to find a resolution sooner instead of later. 

“I don’t see any reason to proceed to a bill that can’t pass,” said Flake told reporters after meeting with GOP colleagues on how to proceed. 

He said he wants to “find a bill that can pass.”

“I think one that could — if we’re going to reopen this thing to add more money for a wall or steel slats, or whatever you want to call it, then throw DACA in too,” Flake said, adding that several colleagues support his position. 

Republicans currently control 51 seats and Democrats control 49, which means the motion could fail if another GOP senator votes "no." 

Ten senators, however, had not voted as of 4 p.m. as some of them have already left town for the Christmas break.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Higher Education Act must protect free speech Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 GOP senators divided on Trump trade pushback MORE (R-Tenn.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has suggested that colleagues find a compromise based on the Homeland Security funding bill that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed in June by a margin of 26-5.

That bill would provide $1.6 billion for border fencing, which is more than the $1.3 billion that Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrevor Noah on lack of Pelosi nickname from Trump: 'There is a reverence for her' Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? MORE (Calif.) have proposed in their latest offer to Trump. 

“All along I’ve thought, out of respect to the presidency, we ought to give him what he asked for. What he asked for is $1.6 billion in this appropriations year,” Alexander said, referring to Trump and the White House's budget request.

“The Senate voted for that and that included many Democrats. So there’s an area where the president and the Democrats have agreed. That would seem to me a pretty good place to start,” he said. 

Only Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.), 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 (D-Ill.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallNew Mexico senators request probe into militia group detaining migrants Latino group urges state lawmaker to make primary challenge to Democrat for Georgia House seat Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 MORE (D-N.M.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzAnti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age Hillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI MORE (D-Hawaii) voted against that bill in committee.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTelehealth is calling — will Congress pick up? GOP grows tired of being blindsided by Trump Hillicon Valley: Assange faces US charges after arrest | Trump says WikiLeaks 'not my thing' | Uber officially files to go public | Bezos challenges retail rivals on wages | Kremlin tightens its control over internet MORE (S.D.) said Congress could vote on various levels of border security funding, such as the $1.6 billion for border fencing and $1 billion for immigration-related matters that McConnell offered to Democrats earlier in the week.  

“I suspect that if that vote doesn’t prevail — and I hopes it prevails — then I think we probably have to huddle up with the House and figure out what the next steps are,” Thune said. 

“There could be a lot of iterations of things you could do. You could collapse the amount, meet the Democrats somewhere [in the middle,]” he said, referring to border wall funding.