Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would force another vote on a short-term funding bill — a “continuing resolution” — at 1 a.m. Monday, unless an agreement is reached before that. This bill would be one-week shorter than the bill they voted on Friday night. But it is still not clear there are enough votes for that legislation to pass.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The shutdown began at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday after senators blocked a short-term funding bill Friday night as the prior short-term spending measure expired. Democrats refused to provide the votes needed to reopen the government until they strike a deal with President Trump protecting young immigrants from deportation, providing disaster relief and other domestic programs.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats would be willing to appropriate funding to build a wall along the southern border in exchange. But Republicans and the White House have rejected the idea.
He’s also pushing Republicans to change the Senate rule that requires 60 votes for legislation to pass. Invoking the “nuclear option” would allow senators to try to pass a long term spending bill with a narrow majority rather than continue funding the government through a short-term measure.
“Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!”
Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!
WHAT IS OPEN, WHAT IS CLOSED?
It is Sunday, so much of the government would be closed anyway. And government provides what are considered essential an non-essential services. Essential services — such as mail delivery, air traffic control and Social Security payments — will continue. But the VA won’t be processing new claims from veterans. The National Park Service issued a notice that some parks “may have areas that remain accessible to visitors; however access may change without notice, and some parks are closed completely.” The Statue of Liberty and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall were among locations completely closed.
A man reads the shutdown alert at the Liberty State ferry terminal in Battery Park on Sunday in New York City. The iconic landmark remains closed as part of the U.S. government shutdown. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, Getty Images)
Contributing, Deidre Shesgreen, USA TODAY; The Associated Press