The government shutdown entered its third day Monday, as Senate lawmakers continued negotiating the outlines of a possible deal. While there isn’t a clear path yet toward ending the shutdown, there was a little movement among Senate Republicans over the weekend.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a verbal guarantee of a vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and border security after Feb. 8 at the latest. But so far Democrats have said that isn’t enough to bring them on board.
Here’s a guide to the latest developments on both sides of the Capitol.
A Senate vote at 12 p.m. on a three-week deal that would end the shutdown. Republicans have won two more GOP votes. The question is if enough Democrats and other Republicans will join them to pass a spending deal.
- The Senate needs 60 votes to move forward on its spending deal, which would extend government funding to Feb. 8.
- In a speech on the Senate floor Sunday, McConnell said if DACA and border security are not resolved by Feb. 8, it would be his “intention” to proceed to DACA/border security legislation at that point. In effect McConnell gave his word that if DACA is unresolved by Feb. 8, he will allow floor votes on the issue immediately after that.
- Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are now “yes” votes on the three-week stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution or “CR” in Washington jargon,, with both of them essentially saying they believe McConnell’s offer is reasonable and the best path for resolving DACA.
- But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats are not on board. Among other issues, they do not trust that McConnell can or will make good on his promise.
- All this after a bipartisan group of 22 senators — the “Common Sense Caucus” — tried to work out a deal, meeting in Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-Me.) office Sunday and then with their party leaders.
- The lower chamber is back at noon.
- Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told the NewsHour he’s been talking all weekend with Trump administration officials who have been pushing to get the government back open.
- However, it’s pretty clear the White House is doing little to help the situation, and that Congress has essentially been left to work this out.
- The White House has been unclear on what spending bill President Donald Trump would sign, exactly. That remains a problem. (On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, White House Legislative Director Marc Short would not commit to backing a vote on DACA bill at any point.
- Graham lashed out at White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller Sunday,, saying he was the impediment to an immigration deal and an unrealistic outlier. White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley criticized Graham in response, telling the NewsHour that “as long as Senator Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully instead of our own American citizens, we’re going nowhere.” The back and forth was a noteworthy sign of the divide within the GOP.