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

Vice President Pence, incoming White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition Trump administration asks Supreme Court to take up challenge to consumer bureau NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump officials mull plan to divert billions more to border wall: report California trip shows Trump doesn't always hate the media Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy MORE met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerToomey on gun reform: 'Beto O'Rourke is not helping' Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey 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 RyanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas MORE’s (R-Wis.) ceremonial office with Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseScalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran On The Money: Senate panel scraps vote on key spending bill amid standoff | Democrats threaten to vote against defense bill over wall funding | Trump set to meet with aides about reducing capital gains taxes MORE (R-La.), Freedom Caucus leaders Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump The Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' GOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Democrat accuses GOP of opposing DC statehood because of 'race and partisanship' The Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' MORE (R-Ohio) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTo boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action Pressure rises on Cheney to make decision NCAA urges California governor not to sign 'fair pay' bill for college athletes 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 TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' 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 FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' 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 HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (N.D.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall Bipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year 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 AlexanderDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns 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 PelosiRomney: Trump asking Ukraine to investigate political rival 'would be troubling in the extreme' Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Democrats must embrace Israel and denounce anti-Semitism in the party 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 FeinsteinFeinstein calls on Justice to push for release of Trump whistleblower report Senate Judiciary Committee requests consultation with admin on refugee admissions Trump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MORE (D-Calif.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Bipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately MORE (D-Ill.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback MORE (D-N.M.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzSenate Democrats accuse administration of burying climate change reports Zuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Whistleblower complaint concerns Trump talk with foreign leader: report MORE (D-Hawaii) voted against that bill in committee.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThe Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' 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.