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Here's why the government has shut its doors

  • Democrats and some Republicans voted against a spending bill over concerns about keeping the government funded with one short-term spending bill after another.
  • Another stopgap spending measure passed the House on Thursday almost entirely along party lines, but it failed in the Senate.
  • Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have insisted on action to preserve protections for people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) returns to the U.S. Capitol after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on the looming threat of a federal government shutdown January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) returns to the U.S. Capitol after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on the looming threat of a federal government shutdown January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC.

The federal government shut down late Friday, largely because of some senators' exasperation with short-term measures to keep the government funded, as well as a desire to enshrine soon-to-expire protections for people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

The Republican-led House of Representatives on Thursday passed a four-week continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Feb. 16, but it did so with the support of nearly the whole GOP caucus and only bare minimum backing from Democrats. The measure met its fate in the Senate late Friday, as the clock ran out on a short-term measure to keep the government open.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late Friday failed to garner the 60 votes he needed to advance the House bill to a vote on the floor of the Senate. Some Democrats, such as Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, whose states supported President Donald Trump in 2016, supported ending debate and moving on to a vote on the measure itself. Yet several Republicans – including Utah's Mike Lee and Arizona's Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic – opposed it.

The failure to pass a bill set off a round of finger-pointing among both parties. Early Saturday, the president branded his opponents as "losers" intent on handing him a defeat on the anniversary of his inauguration.

Republicans, from Trump to House Speaker Paul Ryan, have attempted to saddle Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democratic colleagues with the blame for a potential shutdown, accusing them of brinksmanship over protections for immigrants.

The GOP added a six-year reauthorization of the popular Children's Health Insurance Program to the funding plan to put more pressure on Democrats, framing their decision as a choice of whether to support the program. At least one Democratic senator — newly elected Doug Jones of Alabama — cited CHIP funding in a decision to back the spending bill.

Yet Democrats aren't the only thorns in McConnell's side. Fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has insisted he would not vote for another short-term funding extension. In a candid interview with MSNBC on Friday, Graham said that passing the 30-day House bill would extend "chaos." Later Friday, however, he released a statement that said he would support a stopgap measure that would keep the government open until Feb. 8 – more than a week less than the four-week bill passed by the House.

Graham has also emerged as an ally for Democrats on saving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which Trump has set to expire March 5. Last week, Graham thought he had a chance for bipartisan deal to preserve DACA and enact other immigration reforms, but he said Trump's position changed swiftly.

"He spoke compassionately about immigration, tough on security, wanted bipartisanship. Two days later, there was a major change," Graham told MSNBC.

Graham, who voted against advancing the House bill late Friday night, said in an earlier tweet that he was glad Trump and Schumer met to work on an agreement – and that he is confident Trump would end up sealing a deal.

-CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this article.