Senate adjourns, government to shut down at midnight

By Clyde Hughes and Danielle Haynes
Senators left the Capitol late Friday without plans to vote on a government spending bill before a midnight deadline. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
1 of 5 | Senators left the Capitol late Friday without plans to vote on a government spending bill before a midnight deadline. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The Senate adjourned for the night amid negotiations on a funding bill, setting the stage for a third government shutdown of the year at midnight Friday.

The chamber was expected to reconvene noon Saturday.


Earlier in the evening, the Senate passed a procedural vote to advance a House-supported bill that included $5.7 billion for a border wall requested by President Donald Trump. That leaves the legislation ready for a final vote in the Senate on Saturday.

Earlier Friday, Trump said he won't sign anything to avert a government shutdown unless the Senate authorizes money for the barrier.

In a series of tweets, he called for the Senate to abandon its filibuster rules and reach for the "nuclear option" to get the bill passed. Such a move would allow Republicans in the chamber to effectively overrule Democratic opposition and pass the bill.


"Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you," Trump wrote in a tweet directed at Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnnell of Kentucky.

"Even President Ronald Reagan tried for 8 years to build a Border Wall, or Fence, and was unable to do so. Others also have tried. We will get it done, one way or the other!"

Trump thanked Sen. Steve Daines, D-Mont., for pushing the nuclear option on social media.

"Thank you Steve Daines for being willing to go with the so-called nuclear option in order to win on DESPERATELY NEEDED Border Security! Have my total support, Trump wrote.

The House voted 217-185 late Thursday to pass a short-term funding bill to keep the government operating until February. The Senate passed its own version a day earlier, which had no money for the wall.

The deadline to avoid a shutdown for both chambers to agree on a bill and to get it to Trump for his signature was midnight Friday. Most experts think it unlikely the Senate will agree to set aside money for Trump's wall.

"The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED," Trump wrote in another tweet. "If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don't want Open Borders and Crime.


"The Democrats now own the shutdown!"

The tweet came less than a week after he told Democratic leaders he'd be "proud" to take credit for shutting down the government over the border wall funding.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York answered Trump's accusation Friday that a government shutdown would be the fault of Democrats.

"You own the shutdown -- your own words," he tweeted. "The Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed a bipartisan solution to avoid a shutdown. Then you threw another temper tantrum and convinced the House to ignore that compromise."

Trump criticized House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California over the House vote after she'd said previously the chamber didn't have enough votes to pass a bill with wall money. Pelosi is the front-runner to take over as House speaker next month when Democrats assume control of the lower chamber.

"Soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, last week live from the Oval Office, that the Republicans didn't have the votes for Border Security. Today the House Republicans voted and won, 217-185. Nancy does not have to apologize. All I want is GREAT BORDER SECURITY," he wrote.


"The fact is there is nothing else's that will work, and that has been true for thousands of years. It's like the wheel, there is nothing better.

"I know tech better than anyone, & technology on a Border is only effective in conjunction with a Wall. Properly designed and built Walls work, and the Democrats are lying when they say they don't. In Israel the Wall is 99.9 percent successful. Will not be any different on our Southern Border! Hundreds of $Billions saved."

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