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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Government Shutdown

As Senators scrambled on the chamber floor Friday night to pass a temporary government spending extension and meet the midnight deadline, they were unable to get the 60 votes they needed to pass the bill, resulting in a government shutdown.

The shutdown marks the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. According to ABC News, this is the first government shutdown in recent history where Congress and the White House were controlled by one party.

Here’s everything you need to know about the government shutdown.

The Vote on the Senate Floor: What Happened?

After much discussion, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled to vote on the temporary government spending extension around 10 pm ET.

However, despite the fact that five Democratic senators voted in support of the spending bill, four Republican senators voted against it, meaning there was not enough vote to pass the temporary spending bill.

There were last minute negotiations on a bill that would fund the government through February 8, which was one week shorter than the bill that the House of Representatives voted on, but it still wasn’t enough, as Democrats decided to vote against it since they were unable to secure a commitment from the House that it would include a measure for DACA in the funding bill next month, The Huffington Post reports.  

Democrats wanted to ensure that there was a guarantee that Congress would vote on DACA before it expires in March. While Republicans have said that there is no rush on the immigration issue, Democrats have stood their ground to make sure that there is a solution for Dreamers, and believed that attaching a measure onto a funding bill was their best chance at getting something passed, HuffPost reports.

However, according to HuffPost, DACA wasn’t the only reason that some senators voted against the temporary spending bill. Some senators said that they could not support a one-month spending bill, calling it irresponsible, and that Congress should only be working to vote for full-year bills to fund the government.

When the deadline hit, and no agreement was reached, McConnell took to the Senate floor and criticized the Democrats for the “shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate.”

McConnell ended his time on the floor by asking to bring another temporary spending bill that would have a shorter timeline to a vote at a later time. McConnell added that senators would be back to work on Saturday to try to reach an agreement before federal employees returned to work on Monday.  

Talks Between Sen. Schumer and Trump

During Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech, he discussed how in the hours leading up to the vote, he met with Trump at the White House to negotiate on a deal that would please both parties, ABC News reports. But the deal that they reached during their meetings quickly fell apart.

Schumer offered Trump funding for the border wall, which is something that Democrats have been consistently saying no to, as well as increased funding for the military, all in hopes of being able to reach an agreement that both sides could vote for, The Huffington Post reports. According to ABC News, Schumer said he would consider giving Trump the full amount that the White House had requested for border security, and more than what the White House had requested for military spending.

“During the meeting, in exchange for strong [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for the discussion,” Schumer said from the Senate floor after the vote failed. “Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal.”

According to HuffPost, a source said that Trump and Schumer left without having a “firm deal,” but added that the president thought that the short-term spending bill proposed by Schumer was a “good idea.”

After their meeting, Trump took to Twitter address how the meeting went well.

“Excellent preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer – working on solutions for Security and our great Military together with @SenateMajLdr McConnell and @SpeakerRyan. Making progress – four week extension would be best!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Later, it was reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Schumer to tell him that the proposal he had discussed with Trump was too liberal. Furthermore, Kelly added that giving full funding for Trump’s border security plan would not be enough to create a deal that would provide legal status for Dreamers, ABC News reports.

Afterwards, Trump took to Twitter again, but this time he was singing a different tune.

“Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy,” Trump wrote.

According to HuffPost, Schumer accused Trump of turning against the deal that he thought they had reached, saying it appeared that Trump was almost “rooting for a shutdown.” 

“And now we’ll have one, and the blame should crash entirely on President Trump’s shoulders,” Schumer said.

Where Does Congress Go From Here?

On Saturday morning, both parties were quick to point the finger at the other for who was responsible for the shutdown.

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning, placing the blame on the Democrats.

“Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown” Trump added.

According to The New York Times, Schumer called Trump early Saturday morning asking for the president to sit down with Congressional leaders from both parties to work out a deal before Monday.

“When President Trump decides he is finally ready to lead his party to a deal, Democrats will be ready, willing and eager to clinch it,” Schumer said.

McConnell, according to The Times, is now proposing a temporary spending bill that would end on February 8, a week shorter than the original temporary spending bill that was set to end on February 16.

However, it appeared that Senate Democrats weren’t entirely on board with the idea, and it is unknown when a vote on such a bill would take place.

But it is uncertain what will happen next since Senate leaders haven’t seemed to settle on a Plan B yet. It is also uncertain whether the White House will be working with Congress on a new deal since White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement Friday night on Twitter, saying that the White House would “not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” The Times reports.

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
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