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Government Shutdown Seems Imminent

The House passed a funding bill yesterday, but Democrats in the Senate don’t appear willing to take it up and provide the needed votes to prevent a government shutdown. Both sides, at the current point, believe they’re correct, and seem to be entrenched and beholden to their respective bases. At the present time, if the DACA portion of the funding bill remains the sticking point, any means to prevent the shutdown seems unlikely.

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Politico reports on the current status of the shutdown:

Congress is careening toward the first shutdown in more than four years, with Republicans and Democrats at a seemingly intractable impasse over government funding and the fates of young immigrants facing deportation.

Though House Republicans voted Thursday night to keep the government open, the real drama is in the closely divided Senate, where it’s unclear what, if anything, can clear the chamber’s supermajority threshold. The Senate couldn’t even agree on holding a vote on Thursday night, adjourning after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spurned Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request to hold a vote and, assuming it failed, restart bipartisan negotiations on immigration and government spending levels.

Senators said they expected a vote on Friday, but had little idea what would come next.

“These are hard issues, there’s a lot of disagreement. Not just on substance but how to proceed to it. And everybody’s trying to gain leverage,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)., the No. 3 GOP leader.

The uncertainty came just hours after House Republicans put weeks of internal squabbling behind them and secured votes for a spending plan to keep the government open for another four weeks. The vote was 230-197, with 11 Republicans in opposition and six Democrats crossing the aisle to back it.

The Senate voted to open debate on the bill late Thursday, but the plan’s prospects in the Senate are dicey at best, with no apparent hope of winning the required 60 votes to break a filibuster. Some GOP lawmakers said they intend to vote against it, arguing that repeated short-term funding measures harm the military. And a sizable bloc of Democrats have also come out in opposition because it does not address the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants at threat of being deported.

Some Senate Republicans don’t like the House bill because they want to ensure long-term military funding. Senate Democrats don’t like the House bill because it does not address the 700,000 undocumented aliens currently awaiting some resolution on their “deferred status” under President Obama’s DACA program. The situation appears somewhat untenable unless one of the three sides decides to cave. As it stands, we have House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats all wanting different things out of this temporary funding bill.

Jake Sherman from Politico gives you the succinct summary of where we are:

The optics of the “blame game” weigh heavily here. Beyond the Congressional leaders on both sides, the President is also tossed his two cents into the mix a few hours ago:

It looks like a shutdown is coming because, as mentioned in the prior tweet, each side thinks they will benefit politically. There is at least one Republican Senator who says he’s throwing in with the Democrats, and is even placing blame on his own party, according to The Daily Beast:

In an interview late Thursday night, an exasperated Flake—who is not running for re-election this year—pinned the blame entirely on McConnell and Trump.

“We’re not going to get any better, particularly on the [immigration] issue, by waiting three weeks,” Flake told The Daily Beast. “It just gives the White House time to agree, disagree, and go back and forth. We just need to pass a bill and put it either on the president’s desk… or just pass a Senate bill and see what the House does with it.”

He told reporters that he would vote against a GOP-led measure to advance the House-passed spending bill, which would keep the government’s lights on for four more weeks. It’s a move that essentially kicks the can even closer to a March deadline to codify legal protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally.

So what happens during a “government shutdown,” you ask? Well, CNN has a short explanation:

A shutdown, however, doesn’t mean every federally funded agency, program and service will grind to a halt. Whoever works for agencies and departments that are considered nonessential, including agencies that pay out small business loans and process passport requests, will cease to work until Congress is able to agree on a bill for the federal budget.

The employees in these departments would be placed on “furlough.” In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after an agreement was reached in Washington.

At the peak of the 2013 government shutdown, about 850,000 employees were furloughed per day, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

We’ll see what happens as the day unfolds. It’s entirely possible that somehow, the Senate averts the shutdown and comes to some sort of agreement. The likelihood of that happen seems to be fading by the hour.

Here’s your exit tweet on the looming shutdown:

Stay tuned.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (18)

  • Congress is careening toward the first shutdown in more than four years, with Republicans and Democrats at a seemingly intractable impasse over government funding and the fates of young immigrants facing deportation.

    Should the government shut down, are the Democrats willing to tell the Americans furloughed in non essential departments well think how good you must feel for helping the DACA illegals. I realize from your article that these government employees will be paid retroactively. I still think that these employees wherever they are from, be it California or Alabama will think that they were used by the Democrats as a bargaining chip and vote accordingly.?

    As far as Jeff Flake and his comments are concerned, need I say more his last name says it all, he is a grade A Flake.?

    • Great analysis.

      If the congress lived pay check to pay check would they work for nothing even if they were paid rectoractively?

  • Most prominent cause of the shutdown was Trump’s waffling on the fate of the Dreamers. The 800,000 dreamers were brought into the US as babies and small children and the US is the only home they have ever known.

    In a scathing floor speech on Friday night, Schumer revealed that he offered the Republicans a concession on funding for the border wall, a line Democrats have said they would not cross, in exchange for protections for the Dreamers. it was Trump who balked at the deal he and Schumer devised over lunch at the White House on Friday, that would have kept the government open and struck a compromise on immigration. However, Republicans say they won't negotiate on immigration while the government is shut down. Schumer should have remember that during a meeting with lawmakers at the White House, Trump questioned why the US had to accept immigrants from “shithole” countries in Africa rather than from places like Norway. It isn’t difficult to understand Trump being so racist. Trump is only a third generation American. His grandfather came to America from Germany in 1885.

    • Berkley you need to take a government class. In 2006 the government "authorized" funding for a fence. Exactly what Schumer said he'd do when he talked to Trump. In 2006 the Congress never fully "appreciated" the funds. Exactly what Schumer would have done for the wall. In others words Nada for the wall.

      So, Berkley, Schumer never crossed a thing. He played a game that Trump didn't fall for. It looks like Schumer fooled you but he can't Trump.

      Graham/Durbin also thought they could fool Trump into signing a ridiculous bill. But Trump said something like "bring me a bill that makes sense and I'll sign it."

      Durbin was obviously mad as he was The Man. So he said Trump said a naughty word.

      • The wall is an interesting concept. It has created a lot of talk but not much to show for how high the wall or how long Trump’s wall may be. Regardless, it will not stop illegal immigration and drugs from entering the US.

        As for Bush’s little wire fence, his primary intent was to stop the flow of illegal drugs streaming across the Rio Grande. As the New York Times, Lawrence Downes, wrote about Bush’s fence: "A climber with a rope can hop it in less than half a minute. ... Smugglers with jackhammers tunnel under it. They throw drugs and rocks over it. The fence is breached not just by sunlight and shadows, but also the hooded gaze of drug-cartel lookouts, and by bullets. Border agents describe their job as an unending battle of wits.”

        Trump’s wall will not stop undocumented immigrants if they are determined to cross over, much less if they are hungry and willing to work. There are so many other gateways to American soil besides the US/Mexico borderline. And no wall will stop the flow of drugs into the U.S. as long as there are millions of drug addicts living here. Migration and drug trafficking are, in the end, a matter of supply and demand.

        Tahimik, it is no secret that Trump’s vocabulary is filled with naughty words. Just as his background abounds with very naughty deeds.

        • You're right about the drugs. Supply and Demand rules. Your wrong about the wall.

          Too many people say "If the wall is ten feet high they just use an eleven foot ladder to climb over it." Berkley, how many poor/starving illegals are going to carry around a ladder or equipment to dig under the wall? The will there is a way doesn't work here. The illegals are Guzman.

          "Trumps's wall will get built." It took Obama two years to get his health care bill. Yet people wanted the wall built on day 1 of Trump's presidency or his presidency was a failure. Foolishness.

          I still say a senator from Illinois/Chicago shouldn't have blushed because of a naughty word. Besides Hillary was know for throwing around naughty words. Yet no one of your persuasion cared, right?

          • Illegals in Texas and elsewhere were never compadre’s of Joaquin Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel. The fact that Guzman is in an American prison awaiting trial has not stopped or even slowed the drugs flowing into the US by even one iota.

            On August 31, 31, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona, in a campaign rally, Trump orally promise “On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border”. A promise, even if it is foolish, is a promise. And on that same day, Trump promised “Mexico will pay for the wall”. We all know how that one worked out.

            Trump has no plans for his wall to be built in the high mountainous sections on the New Mexico/Arizona/Mexico border. So drug smugglers and illegal immigrants won’t even need a ladder or have to wade the Rio to cross into the US. Just a little mountain climbing and a good pair of brogans.

            According to Senator Durbin, Trump’s words “ were hate-filled, vile, and racist … and he said, ‘Haitians … do we need more Haitians? And then Trump went on and started to describe the immigration from Africa, calling the nations they come from ‘sh*tholes.”
            That kind of talk is enough to make any true American blush with shame .

            Never use the worn old, worn out excuse of “persuasion” until you have confirmed who you are using it on. I live on the southern coastline of Texas which means “I’m a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a whole lot of guess what”.

          • I Said you're right about The Drug problem. I guesd you can't read.

            Is it 2020? Trump's presidency is barely a year old and you've said We know how one of his promises turned out. How can we know? He hasn't been president that long, right?

            "Just a little mountain climb?" Lol . Right now we don't know which mountain peaks/ranges won't need a wall.

            Besides I've already said drug smuggling will be hard to stop.

            The wall will be built. The wall to stop "illegals." Mexico in some way will pay for the wall. Less foreign aide, whatever, Mexico will pay.

            Yes, poor Senator Durbin was told NO on his bill and blushed when Trump said a naughty word. Durbin would say anything after Trump said NO to him. So would Graham. So would Bush if he were in the room.

            Did they also blush when Clinton got a blow job in the oval office?

            You must be innocent if you believe true Americans would blush if they heard shithole countries. I heard worse than that from Bolivians and especially jr high kids.

            I also lived in AZ and am very familiar with the southern border. I'm sure you're aware of Douglas and Nogales, AZ. I spent a lot if time there.

      • Actually, Trump said he respected the bipartisan team, and he trusted them, so he would sign anything they put in front of him--"and NOT say I want this or I want that."

        • Yup Trump said he'd sign anything so therefore he Must do it. No questions asked.

          Might as well have a robot in office. Someone that can't think. Just go ahead and sign it.

          Does signing something as stupid as what Durbin/Graham gave Trumo make sense? Well it does to Gothe.

          Thank goodness your not president.

          • Silly.

            The point was that Trump promised to sign something. Broke his promise.

            Then revisionists are trying to say he didn't say what he said.

            You can say he changed his mind, but don't say he didn't say it.

            To paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan, you're entitled to your opinion, but not to "alternate facts."

          • What I posted isn't silly. What would have been silly is if he'd signed their ridiculous bill/proposal.

            Yes, he broke his promise. He should have waited until they made a proposal. Then laughed in their faces.

            As for myself I think he "kept" his promise to his faithful supporters. You look at it differently.

            Laura Ingraham said Durbin, and Graham, thought they could march into Trump's office and he'd sign anything presented to him. Wrong.

          • Correct.

            I guess he trusted Graham, etc to do what was best for Trump's supporters . They did what was best for them.

        • I'm sure Trump did, and still does, respect and trust them. It obvious they didn't respect Trump.

          Trump wasn't foolish enough to sign anything that his supporters wouldn't have agreed with.

          • You're right he shouldn't have.

            I think he was assuming they'd do what those that elected Trump want. Mistake, right?

            Durbin and Graham have lied so much i guess they figured Trump would lie and screw his supporters too.

            I told others I was surprised to hear Tucker and Laura say that he was going to sign anything. They claim to understand Trump. No they don't.

    • Are you saying that it is OK for the Democrats to throw Americans out of a government salary for illegals? I don't care if the Dreamers were brought here unknowingly as children by their parents. Their parents knew they were breaking the law. Now thanks to the buffoon known as O'Bugger they are still here and compounding their parents crime.?

      As I said in my post, Democrats are going to be held accountable for shutting down the government. I wonder how many more marches there will be after the Democrats get stomped in the midterms??

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