Dems preparing for prolonged shutdown

House Democrats are making plans for a prolonged shutdown that will begin Saturday if the White House and lawmakers are unable to work out an agreement on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE’s demands for $5 billion in funding for his wall on the Mexican border.

“We're making contingency plans for a long-term shutdown,” said one Democratic House aide, who pointed to the possibility that the partial government shutdown would last into the beginning of the new Congress, when Democrats will take over the House majority.

“If the shutdown goes until Jan. 3, we'll bring up a funding bill,” the aide said.

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Democrats, after they take the House majority, would likely be able to pass a bill funding the government with no money for Trump’s wall. Republicans would hold the majority in the Senate, and it’s unclear what they’d do since they would need some Democratic votes to overcome a filibuster in that chamber.

Congress passed five of its 12 spending bills in time for the 2019 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. Since then, the agencies associated with the seven unpassed bills have been operating through stopgap measures that keep spending at current levels. Those measures expire on Dec. 21.

President Trump wants the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill to include $5 billion for his proposed border wall, and said he would “proudly” shut down the government if he doesn’t get it.

Democrats have offered a yearlong continuing resolution for DHS, which would reallocate the $1.3 billion in funding for border fencing included in last year's bill. Democrats say they prefer passing the full, new versions of the other six bills, but would also be comfortable with yearlong extensions for all six.

In the event the shutdown extends into the new Congress, presumed Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Democratic debate starts with immediate question on Trump impeachment White House, Pentagon, Giuliani reject House subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.) plans to advance a bill that extends funding for DHS but includes the new versions of the other six bills.