Shutdown to enter a third day as Senate plans to vote Monday after failing to reach deal

Key Points
  • The government shutdown will go into a third day as senators failed to strike a deal in time for a Sunday night vote.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aims to advance a short-term spending bill at noon on Monday.
  • Some Democrats are ready to give immigration concessions to Republicans, including President Trump's proposed border wall.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives to talk to the media following the Republicans weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2017.
Yuri Gripas | Reuters

The U.S. government shutdown will go into a third day Monday, as the Senate failed to strike a deal to break an impasse before the work week starts in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will move to advance a stopgap spending bill at noon ET on Monday, he said Sunday night. He hoped to hold a procedural vote on the measure as soon as 10 p.m. Sunday night, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer objected as Democrats still had not seen enough progress in talks on issues like immigration to move forward.

The stalemate will now last through the start of business Monday, when the effects of the government funding lapse will be felt more heavily. Just under a million federal workers would not go into work if the shutdown persists, while financial markets would have their first chance to react to the dysfunction in Washington.

Speaking on the Senate floor Sunday night, McConnell called for an end to the shutdown and outlined what appeared to be assurances to Democrats, who have nearly all opposed the short-term GOP proposals to keep the government running. McConnell has pushed for a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8, which House Republicans also largely back.

Issues including immigration, health care, disaster relief and military spending have tripped up talks on a longer-term budget.

"Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on February 8, 2018, assuming that the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security, and related issues," McConnell said. "It is also my intention to take up legislation regarding increased defense funding, disaster relief, and other important matters."

The need for a bipartisan deal

It is unclear if those pledges will be enough for Democrats to support the stopgap spending bill on Monday. On Sunday night, Schumer told reporters that "talks will continue, but we have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward that would be acceptable for both sides."

Republicans crucially need 10 or more Democratic votes in the Senate to pass spending legislation with 50 members present. (Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is receiving cancer treatment away from Washington.)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the delay until Monday would give Democrats "a chance to chew on" what McConnell proposed. He said it would be better to have a successful vote on Monday than a failed vote Sunday night.

A group of bipartisan senators had met for the second straight day Sunday to try to strike an agreement. Some senators on either side of the aisle reportedly took possible solutions to McConnell and Schumer. The leaders then met, and had no deal to announce after conferring.

Signs of progress, however small, emerged Sunday. House Speaker Paul Ryan told CBS News that his chamber would support the legislation to extend funding through Feb. 8.

As Congress scrambled to reach an agreement, President Donald Trump stayed involved from a distance. He spoke on the phone to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Cornyn earlier in the day.

Immigration stalemate

To get behind the bill, Democrats appear to want an assurance that McConnell will put a bipartisan immigration bill up for a vote, with or without Trump's blessing. Schumer has repeatedly expressed frustration about nailing down Trump's demands for an immigration deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

"He can't take yes for an answer," the New York Democrat said Sunday, contending that "only Trump" can end the shutdown.

Schumer reiterated that he offered Trump the funding for an initial payment on his wall project.

The White House has said it will not negotiate on immigration until the government is open.

Democratic leaders want an immigration agreement at least in place before they support a spending plan. Republicans have sought concessions in exchange for protections for the immigrants, including money for increased border security and changes to extended family migration and the visa "lottery" system.

Schumer had hopes that he may have reached an immigration compromise with Trump on Friday before he got a call from White House chief of staff John Kelly saying his proposal was too liberal for Republicans. Schumer expressed exasperation after his proposal fell through, saying he even put Trump's border wall — previously a deal breaker for Democrats — on the table.

Other Democrats appeared ready to make that concession if it meant shielding the immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, often known as "Dreamers."

"We are ready to sacrifice that so that Dreamers can have freedom in this country," Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., told ABC News on Sunday.

Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in September, and it starts to phase out March 5.

Meanwhile, Trump urged Senate Republicans to go it alone if the "stalemate continues." In a tweet Sunday morning, he urged the GOP to end the legislative filibuster, or take the "nuclear option," to pass a long-term budget.

A spokesman for McConnell said Republicans have no plans to do so.