Update 2: Despite assurances from the House that an even shorter-term spending bill that would give lawmakers more wiggle room to negotiate would be a non-starter, Susan Collins and a group of moderate senators told reporters they are taking ideas about a short-term fix to the Republican senate leadership…
Both the House and Senate have reconvened for another rare weekend session.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan took to the Sunday shows to heap blame for the shutdown on Democrats.
“You can’t blame Donald Trump for Senate Democrats shutting down the government. They shut down the government with no endgame in sight,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.”
Democrats, meanwhile, have dubbed the stalled negotiations the “Trump shutdown,” and say the GOP’s control of both the White House and Congress puts the blame squarely on their shoulders, per NBC News.
McConnell has scheduled a procedural vote on a three-week extension bill for 1 am Monday morning. If passed, that bill would need to clear the House. Ryan has said he would support the bill, which would keep the government open until Feb. 8. The original four-week plan offered to keep the government open until Feb. 16.
“This shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech opening the Senate floor. “Today would be a good day to end it.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on President Trump to return to the bargaining table. “I’m willing to seal the deal, to sit and work right now, with the president or anyone he designates. Let’s get it done.”
“This is the Trump shutdown, only President Trump can end it.” Schumer said. “We Democrats are at the table, ready to negotiate. The president needs to pull up a chair and end this shutdown.”
As NBC News explained, Democrats maintain that the weeks-long spending bill being considered in the Senate is just a stalling tactic that will not lead to a serious legislative debate about immigration reform. Democrats have vowed not to vote for a spending package until a deal to enshrine DACA protections for 690,000 undocumented immigrants is in place.
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Update: Amid reports that Trump hasn’t spoken with Chuck Schumer since Friday, Sen. Dick Durban refused to offer a prediction about when the shutdown might end.
“I’m not going to make that prediction,” Durbin said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We’re going to look every minute of every day,” Durbin said on Sunday, adding that he wanted President Trump to get involved in the negotiation process.
Durbin added he feels there are “positive conversations” happening amid the negotiations (even if the president and the minority leader aren’t participants in those conversations).
The shutdown is set to impact workers on Monday, many of which will be furloughed if they are deemed non-essential by the government.
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While Congressional leaders and the White House have assured the public that the federal government shutdown that technically began at 12:01 am ET Saturday morning could be over within 24 hours, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a key player in the White House’s negotiations, told Fox News Sunday what many – including us – expect will be the case: The government shutdown could persist for weeks…
Mulvaney said Democrats want to keep the government shut for Trump’s Jan. 30 State of the Union address. The beginning of the shutdown also coincided with the anniversary of Trump’s swearing-in.
As we’ve pointed out, both of the two most recent shutdowns lasted for two weeks or longer, per Axios.
Mulvaney argued that the present shutdown differed from the 2013 Obama-era shutdown in that the Democrats want to support the Republicans’ stopgap.
Mulvaney isn’t the only one who believes the shutdown will endure for at least a week, and probably longer. Goldman Sachs’s Chief Economist, Jan Hatzius, said before the shutdown began that he believed there was a “60% chance of a government shutdown, in our view, lasting anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.”
Democrats, of course, are holding out for a deal to enshrine DACA protections for 690,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as minors in law before they agree to fund the government. On Friday, Chuck Schumer reportedly offered Trump a deal whereby Dems would vote for full military spending and full funding for Trump’s border wall if Republicans would vote ‘yes’ on DACA. Mulvaney denied that Schumer had made such an obviously attractive offer (and thanks to the backlash from left-wing media like the Washington Post editorial board, the offer would likely be withdrawn).
Meanwhile, the Senate is holding a weekend session beginning at 1 pm, and the House will open session at 2 pm, to continue debate on the Republican’s plan. Meanwhile, an even more short term five-day deal is still being discussed in the Senate, even though House leaders have made it clear that such a bill would not pass.
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