The federal government shut down for the first time in more than four years Friday after senators rejected a temporary spending patch and bipartisan efforts to find an alternative fell short as a midnight deadline came and went.
Republican and Democratic leaders both said they would continue to talk, raising the possibility of a solution over the weekend. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that the conflict has a “really good chance” of being resolved before government offices open Monday, suggesting that a shutdown’s impacts could be limited.
Four Republican senators joined the Democrats on Friday night.
A House-passed stopgap charge that would maintain a strategic distance from an administration shutdown failed out in the Senate late Friday night, leaving Congress arranging hysterically as the midnight due date to finance the legislature passed.
The measure failed with a margin of 50 to 49. These are republicans who joined Democrats – Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah. This proposal that failed in the Senate could have been funded by the government by February 16th.
It would also authorize the popular Child Health Care Program. This vote remained open until Saturday, and some bipartisan senators advocated improvement.
But the White House drew a hard line immediately after midnight, saying they would not negotiate over a central issue — immigration — until government funding is restored.
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.”