Washington, D.C., is on edge this Friday as Senate Democrats barrel the United States of America toward a government shutdown at midnight.
The House of Representatives, on a bipartisan basis, passed a bill that keeps the government open with 230 votes–and now its fate rests in the hands of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Senate Democratic conference, who would be solely responsible for a government shutdown if it happens. The Senate overwhelmingly on Thursday evening voted for a motion to proceed onto the bill, but now the funding measure needs 60 Senators to vote for it to eventually pass. Since only 47 Republicans are definitely yea votes, that means Republicans need at least 13 Senate Democrats to vote to fund the government.
The Democrats are pushing for this shutdown because they are hellbent on getting amnesty for a significant population of illegal aliens who were recipients of the unlawful Barack Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty program. The White House and congressional Republicans have been more than willing to offer a deal and proposal to handle this problem, but the Democrats have been unwilling to give up chain migration, the visa lottery, and funding for President Trump’s planned border wall.
We will bring live updates here as the country barrels over the shutdown cliff.
UPDATE 1:07 A.M.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning a series of votes starting tonight that are filled with measures to hammer Democrats walking into the midterm elections after their decision to vote to shut down the federal government. The Schumer Shutdown is already proving to be very politically painful for Senate Democrats.
UPDATE 1:02 A.M.
Democrats are facing major political consequences all across the nation for shutting down the federal government on Friday night. Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, blasted Democrats for their intransigence across the board ahead of the all important midterm elections coming up.
“Senate Democrats shutdown the government over petty political games and blind opposition to Republican efforts to pay our troops and fund health care for nine million vulnerable children,” McDaniel said. “This was an unnecessary crisis created by Democrats who jeopardized funding for services for lawful American citizens and our military over an unrelated issue surrounding illegal immigration. The President and Congressional Republicans are committed to fight for the American people – it’s clear Democrats are only interested in fighting for Chuck and Nancy.”
UPDATE 1:00 A.M.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is under serious pressure back home in Wisconsin after she voted to shut down the federal government on Friday evening.
UPDATE 12:48 A.M.
The Schumer Shutdown–led by congressional Democrats–is already hurting Democrats’ political chances in the 2018 midterm elections. Matt Gorman, the communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)–which works to elect House Republicans–issued a statement tonight ripping the Democrats for their shutdown of the federal government.
“Today is Day One of the ‘Schumer Shutdown.’ House and Senate Democrats refused to fund the government and voted to block children’s health care to cater to their activist left base,” Gorman said. “There is no other option. Fund the government. Fund CHIP. Do it now.”
UPDATE 12:45 A.M.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi bashed Republicans in a statement on the Schumer Shutdown that the Democrats are responsible for.
It’s clear that negligence and incompetence are in the Republican DNA. This is the first time I can ever recall a party with control of the White House and BOTH chambers of Congress causing a government shutdown. #TrumpShutdown
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 20, 2018
They spent the entirety of 2017 trying to repeal the ACA and forcing through their #GOPTaxScam. Meanwhile, the vital priorities of the American people were cast aside.
A “good shutdown” is what @realdonaldtrump wanted. We will hold him and Republicans accountable.
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 20, 2018
UPDATE 12:42 A.M.
Vice President Mike Pence, who is in flight on his way to Egypt for a state visit there and to other countries, issued a statement from the air to the press–taking the unusual step of making WiFi available to reporters flying on Air Force Two to get this Pence statement out to the country.
“Our administration worked in good faith to put a bipartisan deal on the table that would strengthen our borders, end chain migration, eliminate the visa lottery, and deal compassionately with DACA,” Pence said. “But rather than solve problems, Democratic leadership preferred a shutdown that has dangerous consequences for our national defense. Their action tonight — or lack thereof — is unconscionable. Our administration will do everything within our power to support the brave men and women in uniform who stand on the frontlines of freedom. But as of tonight, due to a completely avoidable government shutdown, they’ll stand their post without pay.”
UPDATE 12:39 A.M.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the number three official in Senate GOP leadership, issues this statement on the Democrat shutdown led by Schumer.
“Democrats continue with their obstruct-at-all-costs approach by threatening a government shutdown over illegal immigration,” Thune said. “The continuing resolution includes provisions that should be supported by members of both sides of the aisle — including funding for our troops and a six-year extension of the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program. By forcing a government shutdown, Democrats are preventing our troops from receiving the resources they need to help keep our nation safe, and they are jeopardizing the future of an important program that provides health coverage to children in need. Democrats should end these partisan, political games and join us in funding the government.”
UPDATE 12:37 A.M.
McConnell says he will offer an amendment to change the date of the short-term funding deadline to Feb. 8, back from Feb. 16.
UPDATE 12:34 A.M.
McConnell returns to the Senate floor to comment the five Senate Democrats who stood up their party leadership’s shutdown strategy. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) all rejected the plot by Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Democrats to shut down the government.
UPDATE 12:32 A.M.
Schumer says “the blame should lay entirely on President Trump’s shoulders.” Schumer continues repeating the term “Trump Shutdown.”
But House Speaker Paul Ryan notes that the Senate Democrats are entirely to blame for the Schumer Shutdown.
“Senate Democrats have let down our troops, our children, and all Americans,” Ryan said in a statement released just now. “They will do anything to appease their base, even shut down the federal government. There is nothing in this bill to keep the government open that Democrats actually oppose, and yet they are blocking it nonetheless in a dangerous political ploy. All of this is just unnecessary. It is reckless. Senate Democrats have brought us to a shutdown.”
UPDATE 12:29 A.M.
As Schumer is still speaking trying to explain away his and his Democratic colleagues’ government shutdown, it’s worth going back to the White House statement from Sarah Huckabee Sanders which notes that these Democrats under Schumer’s command are “obstructionist losers.” It remains to be seen if the Democrats will, when the Senate votes again on this legislation tonight, whether they will vote again to shut down the government.
UPDATE 12:27 A.M.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is attempting to explain why he and his Democrat colleagues voted to shut down the government. “This afternoon, in my heart, I thought we might have a deal tonight,” Schumer said after his meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump earlier, a meeting he said was a “good meeting.”
Schumer attacks President Trump, saying he “did not press his party” to back any other deals than the House-passed legislation. “He backed off at the first sign of pressure,” Schumer says of Trump.
“We could have passed a short-term extension of funding so we could have” hammered out the details on negotiations on healthcare, immigration, and other issues, Schumer says. Schumer blasts “chaos” and “disarray” that he says are “standing in the way of bipartisan solutions” before the country.
UPDATE 12:21 A.M.
McConnell announces that the Senate will vote again on the measure early Saturday so the “American people know” who stands with them, and who stands against them.
UPDATE 12:20 A.M.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as expected, votes against the bill for procedural reasons so he can call the vote back up if necessary eventually after future negotiations. McConnell immediately offers a motion to reconsider the vote, and begins speaking on the Senate floor and notes the White House press secretary’s statement saying that the White House will not negotiation on amnesty for DACA recipients while Democrats are holding America hostage with the Schumer Shutdown the Democrats are solely responsible for.
McConnell calls the Senate vote a “cynical decision” by Senate Democrats to “shove aside” Americans for “political gain.” He notes the government funding bill contains “nothing they do not support.”
“To America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay,” McConnell adds. He lists off the consequences for many other Americans, including veterans, families of fallen heroes, for children’s healthcare, for those struggling with the opioid epidemic, and for government employees.
“I’m having troubling understanding which one of these outcomes my Democratic colleagues can be proud of?” McConnell adds.
UPDATE 12:15 A.M.
Just to be clear, technically the government is not “shut down” yet even though there is a funding lapse–it remains to be seen what happens on the Senate floor and in Congress, and technically there still could be something that happens this evening before lawmakers head home. But it seems unlikely there will be anything unless Senate Democrats go change their votes, which they can do, to prevent an official shutdown from happening.
Keep in mind this is technically a “lapse” in funding. Gov’t isn’t officially shut down unless order goes out from OMB/OPM.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 20, 2018
Also, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is ripping Democrats for their shutdown now:
McCarthy: Senate Democrats just chose to cut off pay to our troops, cut off funding to the VA, and cut off insurance for American children in an absurd ploy to enact unspecified immigration provisions for a program that isn’t about to expire
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 20, 2018
UPDATE 12:11 A.M.
The Trump White House is dropping the hammer on the Democrats after they shut the government down. Until they stop this Schumer Shutdown and reopen the government, Team Trump is saying there will be no more immigration negotiations.
Key point from Trump admin: No negotiations on immigration until government reopens.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 20, 2018
The Trump White House was more than open to doing a deal on DACA, as long as Democrats voted to end chain migration, end the visa lottery, and fund the border wall. But Democrats opposed those completely reasonable positions for purely political and diabolical reasons–because chain migration and the visa lottery will provide them with millions more voters in the next 15-20 years, and because they oppose a border wall despite proof it would keep Americans safe from the dangers of illegal immigration.
UPDATE 12:07 A.M.
Even the New York Times is noting that the Democrats are responsible for the government shutdown, and own whatever happens next. They had the votes to stop this, and chose to shut the government down.
Own it, Dan. The Democrats held together and voted no. They stopped the CR. If every Republican had voted yes, they still would have stopped the CR. https://t.co/XuAmcHsQde
— (((JonathanWeisman))) (@jonathanweisman) January 20, 2018
UPDATE 12:06 A.M.
It is worth noting that the Democrat “Schumer Shutdown,” as it is being called, comes even as a majority of U.S. senators voted for the House-passed bipartisan funding bill. There were 51 votes in favor of it in the Senate, and 230 in favor of it in the House. Six House Democrats, and five Senate Democrats, voted for it. And even if the four Senate Republicans who voted against the bill–and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is back home in Arizona for health reasons–voted for it, Democrats would still be responsible for the shutdown.
UPDATE 12:04 A.M.
This truly historic moment, where Democrats have shut down the government on the exact anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration, caps off an incredible year of ups and downs–and furious leftist Democrats. It remains to be seen how long this shutdown will last, but one thing is very clear: Democrats are in an awful political position at the beginning of a year where they were on a path to have political momentum walking into the midterm elections. Thanks to the intransigence of the Democratic Party–particularly Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, but really every member of their party except for the six House Democrats and five Senate Democrats who voted for the House-passed funding bill–the government has shut down.
UPDATE 12:00 A.M. SATURDAY
The government has shut down as of now. It remains unclear if any deal will keep this short, or if the shutdown will last into Saturday and the weekend. Senators are still on the floor of the U.S. Senate negotiating past this deadline.
UPDATE 1:16 P.M.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) again demonstrates his allegiance is to the Democrats as he encourages Trump to cave in the Schumer meeting:
Let’s see if two New Yorkers can agree on a deal good for USA.
I believe – in America – anything is still possible.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 19, 2018
UPDATE 1:15 P.M.
Reports are emerging that Trump and Schumer spoke via phone earlier, when Trump invited Schumer to the White House.
Trump/Schumer chat was positive and friendly, per two people briefed. Between 10 and 11 AM. Trump said come on over.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 19, 2018
There are worries Trump will cave in the meeting with Schumer.
No Pelosi, no McConnell, no Ryan, no Cotton, no Durbin. Just Trump and Schumer. New York talk.
Ryan and McConnell are not going to the meeting with Trump and Schumer.
Everything is on the line right now as Trump moves forward on this meeting with Schumer.
One big question: Will @realDonaldTrump have Stephen Miller, his hard-line immigration / domestic policy adviser, and his chief of staff, John Kelly, in the Oval with @SenSchumer? They usually bolster POTUS’s hard-line tendencies.
— Michael D. Shear (@shearm) January 19, 2018
Also — with there be more “tough” language in the Oval today? If so, that could derail any deal that might otherwise emerge.
President Trump is risking a lot with this Schumer meeting, and House Republicans are very worried they will “get hosed” per a report from Politico’s Jake Sherman.
There is very serious concern rippling through the House Republican Conference that they are about to get hosed by the president and Chuck Schumer.
CNN’s John King reports that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, is not invited to Schumer’s White House meeting with President Trump that is about to begin.
UPDATE 12:53 P.M.
Back in 2013, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) called senators who voted to shut down the government “dysfunctional deadbeats.”
Now, she faces a choice as the Senate prepares voting for cloture on the House-passed spending bill, whether she wants to vote for what she considers is a “dysfunctional deadbeat” position as she faces reelection this year.
UPDATE 12:49 P.M.
Schumer has arrived at the White House. It remains to be seen what deal is being discussed if any or if congressional Republicans will join Schumer and Trump in these negotiations.
JUST IN: Schumer has arrived at the White House for talks with President Trump.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) January 19, 2018
UPDATE 12:43 P.M.
Schumer is on his way to the White House, per media reports:
the Schumer/Trump confab is imminent. meaning, it will happen like now
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 19, 2018
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 19, 2018
BREAKING: AP source: Trump phones Senate Dem leader Schumer, invites him to White House to try to reach deal to avert shutdown.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 19, 2018
UPDATE 12:42 P.M.
An update from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, as the Speaker appeared on Fox News to discuss the Schumer Shutdown that looms.
A key quote as highlighted by the Speaker’s office is as follows:
“This is absolutely needless, completely unnecessary, and wholly because of Senate Democrats trying to shut down the government, holding the entire government hostage for a completely unrelated issue that doesn’t have a deadline right now. . . . If we have a government shutdown, that the Democrats insist on, troops don’t get paid, they’re holding our military hostage. Children’s health insurance dries up, seven states run out of money for their children’s health insurance. The Medical Device Tax kicks in so anybody getting a medical procedure that involves a device will pay a whole lot more for that procedure. Those are things that will happen if the Senate Democrats continue to insist on shutting down the government. . . .Senator Schumer said this very tactic, this very strategy a few years ago, was governmental chaos. Nancy Pelosi called it legislative arson. This is exactly what they’re doing and it is completely unnecessary to hold the government hostage for something unrelated. And by way, those DACA negotiations are underway right now. There are good faith bipartisan negotiations underway on DACA right now that have been occurring for some time and that deadline is not until March. So what they’re simply trying to do is hold all of government hostage, our troops, kids’ health insurance, for a completely unrelated issue. I think it’s shameful.”
UPDATE 12:35 P.M.
More from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) interview on MSNBC. He takes the radical leftist worldview, far outside the mainstream and more in line with the Democratic Party, that Stephen Miller is somehow to blame for the Democrats’ intransigence on DACA.
UPDATE 12:29 P.M.
The Department of Homeland Security said that if a government shutdown happens thanks to Schumer’s and his Senate Democrats’ intransigence, the government is prepared to protect the homeland.
DHS: The dedicated men and women of DHS are fully prepared to protect the homeland and keep Americans safe should a lapse in government funding occur. Nearly ninety percent of all DHS personnel are considered essential staff and will continue to perform their duties
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 19, 2018
Most of DHS personnel–about 90 percent–are considered “essential staff” in the event of a shutdown.
DHS says nearly 90%of all DHS personnel are considered essential staff and will continue to perform their duties in the event of a government shutdown — no update on numbers from @StateDept yet
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) January 19, 2018
UPDATE 12:25 P.M.
Chuck Schumer is facing serious criticism for previously, back in 2013, saying that it would be “governmental chaos” for doing exactly what he is doing now.
Schumer, in a 2013 interview with George Stephanopoulos, said this:
Speaker [John] Boehner comes in and he says basically… it’s sort of like this: Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage and then says ‘Let’s negotiate over the price of your house.’
You know we could do the same thing on immigration. We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say ‘We’re shutting down the government. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos.
But, as our own John Binder notes in a piece just published on Breitbart News, that is exactly what Schumer is doing right now:
The plan to shut down the federal government unless illegal aliens are given amnesty, though, is now being championed by Schumer and Democrats, who say they want to see the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program given amnesty to remain permanently in the U.S. in exchange for their support on a government funding bill.
In an expansive amnesty plan that the Republican establishment and Democrats want to see passed, some 3.5 million illegal aliens who are enrolled and eligible for DACA would be granted amnesty, as well as their parents who brought them to the U.S. illegally.
UPDATE 12:05 P.M.
Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is blasting the politicians in Washington for their failures here.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 19, 2018
UPDATE 12:03 P.M.
On the Senate floor moments ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Senate Democrats would “own” any shutdown “craziness” that happens as a result of their unwillingness to vote for a bipartisan bill that contains nothing they oppose.
UPDATE 12:00 P.M.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) demonstrate their true allegiances with this made-for-MSNBC television moment:
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) January 19, 2018
When Dick Durbin calls in the middle of your interview….
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) January 19, 2018
Meanwhile, Graham is bashing White House aide Stephen Miller–and undercutting President Trump and the Republican Party on this matter.
Just interviews @LindseyGrahamSC – says up to POTUS to decide what he wants in an immigration deal & stick with it. He won’t vote for 30 day CR. Dinged @TomCottonAR as “Steve King of the Senate.” Stay tuned to @MSNBC
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) January 19, 2018
“The Stephen Miller approach to immigration has no viability.”
CNN is reporting, citing a government official, that President Trump has canceled his planned trip to Florida this weekend as a government shutdown is looming. Meanwhile, CNN also reports, members of the House of Representatives are being told to stay in Washington for the time being rather than leave as planned for the weekend scheduled recess.
UPDATE 11:51 A.M.
Our senior White House correspondent for Breitbart News Charlie Spiering files this update from Mulvaney’s and Short’s White House briefing room appearance:
“OMB is preparing for what we’re calling a Schumer Shutdown,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters at the White House. “It still surprises me and I’ve been through some of these before, that the Democrats in the Senate are opposing a bill that they don’t oppose.”
Mulvaney ridiculed reporters during a briefing for suggesting that Republicans would be held accountable for a government shutdown just because they controlled all three branches of the federal government.
“I have to laugh when people say that … you know any as well as anybody it takes 60 votes in the senate to pass appropriations bill. You know that,” he said.
Mulvaney said that members of the military, the border patrol, wildfire fighters, post office, TSA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the national parks would still go to work, but that they would not be paid, if the government did shut down.
He also said that President Donald Trump would continue to work to prevent a shutdown.
“There’s no way you can lay this at the feet of the President of the United States; he is actively working to make a deal,” he said.
UPDATE 11:48 A.M.
Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, is desperately spinning away as her party jeopardizes its midterm election chances with a Schumer Shutdown. She is now claiming that Republicans only want to head to Davos:
NASTY NANCY: Pelosi Compares GOP Debt Deal with EATING DOG FECES
As Republicans and Democrats scramble to find a last-minute solution to raising the debt-ceiling before a federal government shutdown, former…
Pelosi: GOP Continuing Resolution ‘a Bowl of Doggie Doo’ With a ‘Cherry on Top’
The six Democrats who joined most Republicans in supporting the bill that passed the House with 230 votes are now under attack by Pelosi:
Updated figure. 6 Hse Dems votes yes on interim spending bill. Dems didn’t put up any yeas on the board until the GOPers hit 220. Dem yeas: Costa Carbajal Gonzalez Peterson Gottheimer Cuellar
UPDATE 11:41 A.M.
President Trump is calling out Senate Democrats–particularly Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)–for their hypocrisy on this matter.
“Shutting down the government is a very serious thing. People die, accidents happen. I don’t know how I would vote right now on a CR, OK?”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif)http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dianne-feinstein-flips-her-position-on-shutdown-for-second-time-in-one-day-people-will-die/article/2646377 …
On Wednesday, the senator said she would vote for the CR, if necessary. By Thursday, she was opposed. Later that same day, she didn’t know.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and White House official Marc Short addressed the media from the White House briefing room.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney:
“The president is actively working right now to try to prevent a shutdown. I will contend to you that is dramatically different from what President Obama was doing it 2013…It is absolutely my belief that President Obama wanted a shutdown in 2013.”
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney:
“We don’t want this. We do not want a shutdown, but if Mr. Schumer insists on it he is in a position to force this on the American people.”