Senate Won't Vote Until Noon Monday To End Shutdown
WASHINGTON - The government shutdown will remain in effect going into Monday, after senators failed to come to an agreement to end it. Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell attempted to schedule a vote Sunday night to end the shutdown, but Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer objected.
Earlier, House and Senate lawmakers engaged in another round of negotiations to end the government shutdown as the impasse continued into the second day, with both chambers reconvening with the goal of striking a deal on spending and immigration that would reopen federal agencies ahead of the work week.
Sunday morning, the fragile outlines of a potential deal began to take shape. On CBS News' "Face the Nation," House Speaker Paul Ryan said the lower chamber has agreed to accept a short-term deal that would fund the government through Feb. 8 if the Senate is able to pass such a bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on a Feb. 8 bill at 1 a.m. Monday.
Senate Democrats have so far not agreed to support a revised bill without concessions on immigration from the GOP. On Saturday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina suggested one possibility: a bill that would fund the government in exchange for a commitment to move onto immigration after Feb. 8.
"After extensive discussions with Senators, on both sides of the aisle, I believe such a proposal would pass if it was understood that after February 8, the Senate would move to an immigration debate with an open amendment process if no agreement has been reached with the White House and House of Representatives," Graham said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
Graham predicted that a "breakthrough" would happen Sunday night as moderate lawmakers met with GOP leaders to discuss the impasse.
On Saturday, Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement as federal agencies began implementing shutdown procedures. McConnell told reporters that lawmakers would be "right back at it" for "as long as it takes."
"We will keep at this until Democrats end their extraordinary filibuster of government funding and children's healthcare, and allow a bipartisan majority of Senators to reopen the federal government for all Americans and get Congress back on track," McConnell said Saturday on the Senate floor. Senate Democrats say they will not support a funding resolution that does not include protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children under the DACA program and spending for disaster relief.