Government Closure Inevitable as Talks Continue: Shutdown Update

(Bloomberg) -- The federal government is on the brink of a partial shutdown starting Friday night with Congress at an impasse with President Donald Trump over his demands to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day:

Shutdown Inevitable as Negotiations Continue (7:13 p.m.)

A government shutdown is inevitable starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday in Washington as congressional leaders and the White House continue to negotiate over Trump's demands for a border wall, according to a congressional aide.

Members of the House have been told they're not coming back Friday night, meaning any deal couldn't be approved until Saturday at the earliest, the aide said.

Senators have been told they can go home and will have at least 24 hours notice before a vote, a Senate aide said.

Trump Seen Willing to Make Deal, Senators Say (6:20 p.m.)

Trump is willing to make a deal with congressional leaders to keep the government open that could involve more money than Democrats have offered for border security, according to two GOP senators.

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and David Perdue of Georgia, a close Trump ally, told reporters they spoke with the president by phone and that the outlines of the deal are under negotiation.

The bill could provide short-term funding or could fund agencies through the end of the fiscal year, Gardner said.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said a deal could include $1.6 billion for border security, slightly more than Democrats were offering this week. Cornyn also says he likes language that would allow the funds to be used for fencing but not wall, though he'd like some flexibility.

"This isn't rocket science to try to come up with a figure," Cornyn said.

Senate Opens Debate as Negotiations Continue ( 6:00 p.m.)

The Senate opened debate on a stopgap funding bill, clearing the way for negotiations with the White House on a way forward that would keep the government open and satisfy Trump's demand for border security money.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said any legislation to keep the government running will need support from Democrats and Trump's willingness to sign it. He said the chamber took a procedural vote to preserve "maximum flexibility" for negotiations.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he is willing to continue discussions with the White House.

A House passed stopgap funding bill that includes $5 billion for wall funding sought by Trump won't pass the Senate, both leaders said. It wasn't clear that a partial government shutdown at midnight could be avoided.

House Set to Reconvene Saturday as Shutdown Looms (6:50 p.m.)

The House conceded the government likely will be partially shuttered for at least a few hours, as it voted to wrap up business for the day and return Saturday.

With the Senate stuck on what to do about a stopgap spending bill and money for Trump's wall, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would alert House members when they have something to consider to break the deadlock.

"We're going to come back tomorrow to see if the Senate did anything," Representative Raul Grijava, an Arizona Democrat, said. That's "in a way a concession there will be a shutdown."

Funding for several departments, including Homeland Security, lapses at midnight Friday and Congress hasn't been able to agree on an extension because an impasse between Trump and Democrats over money for a border wall.

Schumer Tells Pence Senate Won't Support Wall Funds (4:31 p.m)

Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, told Vice President Mike Pence and other White House representatives that the chamber won't vote to approve funding for the president's proposed border wall, according to a Schumer spokesman.

Schumer of New York told three of Trump's most trusted advisers --Pence, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner -- that proposals Democratic leaders previously made to avoid a shutdown remain on the table.

The Democrats' proposals include keeping funding for border fencing at the current level of $1.375 billion. The first offer would update spending levels for every unfunded agency except Homeland Security, the source of wall funding, which would be kept at current levels. Their second plan would hold all unfunded agencies at their current funding level through Sept. 30.

Schumer said a plan that previously cleared the Senate, extending current funding levels until early February, also remains on the table, the spokesman said. Even though they're in the minority, Democrats have enough votes to block action on legislation.

Pence and Mulvaney left the meeting with Schumer to meet with lawmakers in the House.

Trump Envoys Arrive at Capitol, Meet With Schumer (3:40 p.m.)

Three of Trump's most trusted advisers, Vice President Mike Pence, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner are meeting with Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, at the Capitol.

Negotiations between the White House and Democrats are underway as lawmakers look for a way to avoid a shutdown.

Shutdown in Hands of Trump, Democrats, Cornyn Says (3:05 p.m.)

John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said it's now up to Trump and the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi of California and Chuck Schumer of New York, to find a compromise and avoid a shutdown.

"At some point people decide they really would like to go home and see their families, so they'll get serious about coming up with a solution," he said. "But we're not there yet."

Schumer, Pelosi and Trump had a contentious meeting at the White House last week that didn't resolve the dispute.

Action in the Senate is at a standstill as GOP leaders wait for several lawmakers to return to Washington. They're holding open a procedural vote in the meantime.

The vote would allow the Senate to take up a House measure opposed by Democrats and some Republicans that would extend government funding through Feb. 8 and give Trump $5 billion for a border wall. The House measure is unlikely to win approval in the Senate.

'Tyranny of Talk Radio' Seen Influencing Trump (1:18 p.m.)

Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said Trump is pushing to shut down the government at the urging of talk show hosts who have told him to stand up to Democrats.

"This is tyranny of talk radio," said the retiring senator. "How do you deal with that? Tyranny of talk radio. Two talk radio hosts completely flipped a president."

Corker said Trump previously indicated he would back temporary funding that didn't include the wall money he is now demanding.

"This is juvenile," he said of Trump's pivot.

McConnell Says Senate Will Vote on Wall Funding (12:40 p.m.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he'll push ahead with a vote on a House-passed stopgap spending bill that includes money for border security demanded by Trump, even though it probably doesn't have the votes to pass.

McConnell said he and other Senate Republicans met Friday morning with Trump and the White House to discuss "a way forward" to breaking an impasse that threatens to trigger a partial government shutdown after midnight.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said earlier that there was broad agreement on funding legislation without the wall money and that Congress should pass that.

Trump Says 'Pretty Good' Chance of Shutdown (12:30 p.m.)

The president said there's now a "pretty good" chance that parts of the government will shut down after midnight Friday as he and Democrats dig in amid their dispute over funding for a border wall.

Trump made the remarks Friday at the White House after meeting with Senate Republicans. He said again that he's "prepared for a very long shutdown."

Without an agreement to fund the government by midnight, nine departments including Homeland Security will close just before the Christmas holiday.

Trump Warns of 'Very Long Shutdown' (8:07 a.m.)

Trump warned of a lengthy partial government shutdown if Democrats don't back a stopgap spending measure that includes money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, hours before a deadline to approve the must-pass legislation.

"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 said in a Friday morning Twitter post. "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 president's comments sought to preemptively shift blame to the minority party if a funding lapse occurs at midnight, even though Trump has said he'd be proud to shut down the government. The president on Thursday scuttled an apparent deal to fund the government into February when he suddenly said he'd reject it.

Here's What Happened on Thursday:

Trump summoned House leaders to the White House and told them he'd refuse to sign the Senate's version of a short-term spending bill because it didn't include funds he'd demanded for border security.The House added $5 billion for a border wall to a Senate plan to temporarily fund the government through Feb. 8.Democratic leaders in the House and Senate reiterated their opposition to adding funds for a border wall, saying it's an ineffective strategy.Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber would convene after noon on Friday.

--With assistance from Erik Wasson, Anna Edgerton, Laura Litvan, Daniel Flatley, Billy House and Steven T. Dennis.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at, Justin Blum, Joe Sobczyk

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.


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