Despite lawmakers’ pledges to work over the weekend to reach a deal to fund the government, the United States woke up Monday morning to the third day of a government shutdown.
The government ran out money at midnight on Friday, when a short-term House bill failed in the Senate, as Democrats held tight to their stance that any funding for the government should address the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Although Republicans control both Houses of Congress, any spending bill needs nine Democrats in the Senate to vote to pass it—assuming every Republican votes for the bill, which has not been the case thus far—to get past a potential filibuster. The past three temporary spending measures secured well over the required 60 votes, but as the deadline for DACA approaches, Democrats have held fast against any bill that doesn’t address the 800,000 people in the program.
Their refusal to budge gave Republicans a bevy of talking point over the weekend, and this morning the president continued to lash out at Democrats.
The Democrats are turning down services and security for citizens in favor of services and security for non-citizens. Not good!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2018
Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base. They don’t want to do it but are powerless!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2018
End the Democrats Obstruction! https://t.co/tzBXilvW1b— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2018
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, yesterday, however, placed the blame squarely on one White House official.
“As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years,” Graham said. “I’ve talked with the president; his heart is right on this issue. He’s got a good understanding of what will sell. And every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members.”
Senate Republicans’ stance on immigration, in general, seems to have softened a bit over the weekend.
A vote is slated for noon on Monday that could move forward a temporary spending bill senators worked on over the weekend. That group of senators cobbled together a temporary bill that would keep the government open while a negotiation on immigration is reached. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would reportedly consider a floor debate on immigration if a deal isn’t struck by mid-February.
Yesterday, Trump’s messaging on the shutdown got an added boost from an old friend of his campaign: Russian bots.
#SchumerShutdown became the favorite Twitter topic of Russian bots tracked by the Alliance for Securing Democracy. It’s a sentiment echoed by his closest advisors.
Trump also over the weekend lobbied for the destruction of one of the Senate’s oldest traditions.
Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 21, 2018
If the Senate works out a deal, Speaker Paul Ryan (D-Wisc.) promised the House would pass it, so long as it didn’t deal with immigration, before placing the onus on, you guessed it, Democrats.
“This is solely done by the Senate Democrats,” Ryan said. “It’s absolutely meaningless. They shut down the government over a completely unrelated issue.”