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

Vice President Pence, incoming White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? On The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions MORE and White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJared Kushner, Ivanka Trump to appear at fundraiser for Jim Jordan: report Trump puts the cart before the horse in Palestine Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline MORE met with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump goes after Democrats over photo of drowned migrants Schumer displays photo of drowned migrants on Senate floor in appeal to Trump McConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems 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 RyanBooker prepping for first 2020 debate with bicep curls Democratic debates: What the top candidates need to do Paul Ryan praises Trump: 'He's not taking any crap' MORE’s (R-Wis.) ceremonial office with Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTrump knocks Democrats on 'Open Borders' House passes .5B border funding bill Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill MORE (R-La.), Freedom Caucus leaders Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse panel votes to subpoena Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act testimony Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump to appear at fundraiser for Jim Jordan: report GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse panel votes to subpoena Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act testimony TSA to send hundreds of workers to southern border to enforce immigration policies Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump to appear at fundraiser for Jim Jordan: report MORE (R-Ohio) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? Trump endorses Tillis for reelection in North Carolina Ex-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis 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 Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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 FlakeTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' Trump endorses McSally in Arizona Senate race Jeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow MORE (R-Ariz.) and Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment 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 HeitkampLobbying World Pro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA On The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight MORE (N.D.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Energy: New EPA rule could expand officials weighing in on FOIA requests | Trump plan to strip conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback | Agriculture chief downplays climate concerns Trump plan to strip public land conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback Senator takes spontaneous roadtrip with strangers after canceled flight 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 AlexanderSenate Health Committee advances bipartisan package to lower health costs Senate Finance leaders in talks on deal to limit drug price increases Overnight Health Care — Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Poll finds Trump vulnerable on health care in battleground states | HHS must respond to petition on abortion referral ban by Thursday | Wyden presses health officials about CBD regulations 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 PelosiSenate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House Pelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Trump says he spoke to Pelosi, McConnell on border package 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 FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats leery of Sanders plan to cancel student loan debt McConnell opens door to vote on Iran war authorization Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline MORE (D-Ill.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart Udall2020 debates complicate Senate plans for vote on Trump's war authority Senate GOP to defeat proposal requiring approval for Iran attack GOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats MORE (D-N.M.) and Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzWhite House to convene social media summit after new Trump attacks Hillicon Valley: Investigation finds federal agencies failed to address cyber vulnerabilities | Officials crack down on illegal robocallers | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Senators grill Google exec on 'persuasive technology' Senators spar with Google exec over use of 'persuasive technology' MORE (D-Hawaii) voted against that bill in committee.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House Senate GOP to defeat proposal requiring approval for Iran attack Senate GOP aims to jam House Democrats on border fight 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.