Schumer Meeting With Trump Yields No Deal, As Shutdown Looms
WASHINGTON - Congress is now only hours away before the government could shut down. The House passed a short-term spending bill Thursday night, but the bill lacks enough votes to pass in the Senate.
On Friday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York went to the White House after an invitation from President Trump. The president, his chief of staff, John Kelly, and Schumer and his chief of staff met alone in the Oval Office, Margaret Brennan reports. according to a White House official. Schumer told reporters afterward that progress had been made, but there's no deal yet.
"We had a long and detailed meeting," Schumer said. "We discussed all of the major outstanding issues. We made some progress, but we still have a good number is disagreements -- but discussions will continue.
Schumer did not indicate whether he thought they could iron out their differences by midnight. But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters he expected a vote on the short-term spending bill late afternoon or early evening.
Meanwhile, Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent a memo of frequently asked questions and answers regarding what to do in a shutdown to department and agency heads. White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said the White House is continuing to have conversations with congressional leaders.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt issued a memo to employees stating the agency has enough funding for now, and directing employees to come into work next week, no matter what happens.
Still, shortly before Schumer arrived at the White House, Mulvaney was framing any possible shutdown as a "Schumer shutdown," complaining that Senate Democrats "are opposing a bill that they don't oppose -- they're for clean CRs; they're for the extension to the CHIP program."
The House passed the bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), in a 230-197 vote. Afterward, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said he was urging Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, not to shut down the government.
"The only people standing in the way of keeping the government open are Senate Democrats," Ryan said.
If lawmakers don't extend funding by Friday night, the government will shut down early Saturday. It would be the first government shutdown since 2013. President Trump tweeted about the possibility Friday morning.
Government Funding Bill past last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate - but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2018
The Senate debated the bill, but ultimately voted to adjourn until Friday at 11 a.m., leaving the Senate only one day before the government shuts down. On Thursday night, Schumer suggested a much shorter CR — that would last four or five days — to buy more time to reach a long-term spending agreement. McConnell rejected that idea at the time.
This marks the fourth short-term spending bill Congress has had on its plate since September. Democrats, however, remain largely opposed to the measure because they want it tied to a larger immigration deal over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and border security.
The CR includes a six-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and delays on three Obamacare taxes. Shortly before the vote, the House Freedom Caucus said a majority of its members had voted to approve the measure, making passage more certain.
President Trump had been scheduled to leave Washington for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend on Friday, but the White House confirmed in the afternoon that the president's scheduled departure Friday has been canceled.
Mr. Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly were making phone calls late last night ahead of the looming shutdown, said a senior administration official, who declined to name who they were calling. The official said the administration was banking on a less than 50 percent chance of a shutdown.
The government last shut down in October 2013 for 16 days after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, led an unsuccessful effort to defund Obamacare. Republicans went on to retake control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. It's unclear how a government shutdown would affect either party in this year's midterm elections in November.
CBS News' Rebecca Shabad, Kathryn Watson and Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.
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