Senate Republicans have barely twenty-four hours to find a way to convince their Democratic colleagues to vote for the spending bill and prevent the first government shutdown in four years, but they couldn’t even agree on holding a vote, and adjourned until tomorrow morning.
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.
As RedState reported earlier today, the House already passed the bill, but Senate Democrats are in the driver’s seat for these negotiations because Republicans lack the 60 votes needed to thwart a filibuster.
The critical thing to remember, as Caleb Howe pointed out, any government shutdown is the fault of the Democrats, even though they got what they wanted with the six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program — they are wielding the filibuster threat to attempt to get an agreement on DACA, an entirely separate matter.
It does not matter that government shutdowns are extremely disruptive and inconvenient. It does not matter that Democrats got the CHIP funding they wanted. It does not matter that President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans are generally on board with a legislative fix to allow DACA recipients to stay here.
Democrats are willing to shut down the government and allow states to run out of money for children’s health insurance because they want a DACA fix now instead of a few weeks down the road.
Senate Republicans have been unable to offer anything capable of swaying Senate Democrats, who have dug in their heels and are whipping votes on the DACA issue.
The Senate will reconvene tomorrow morning and try again.
A bill must be passed by 11:59 pm Eastern Time Friday or the government will shutdown. Just remember who’s to blame.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.