December 23, 2018
The government’s partial shutdown will drag until at least next Thursday after the Senate adjourned on Saturday without taking action to end the funding lapse and reopen the federal government as both Republicans and Democrats dug in on their positions over funding for Trump’s proposed border wall while negotiators tried to find a potential solution.
No progress was made despite several gatherings on Capitol Hill, with Senate majority leaders Mitch McConnell saying the Senate would not be voting on the issue until at least Dec. 27. The Kentucky Senator said the body would hold a pro forma session on Monday, Dec. 24, then will reconvene after Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 27, and senators will be notified when a vote is called. That will put the focus on getting a deal before lawmakers return on Thursday.
Senators failed to reach a funding agreement as Trump demanded $5 billion for his proposed wall along the border with Mexico, and is unwilling to budge even as Democrats repeatedly refused. Then House Republicans dug in, declining to pass a bill to keep the government running into February after the president threatened to veto it Thursday.
Senate leaders and only a handful of lawmakers had gathered at the Capitol around noon on Saturday with modest hope of finding a way forward to end the shutdown, which began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and is affecting nine department, or about a quarter of the federal government.
Vice President Pence also returned to the Capitol on Saturday and met with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer for a second time in two days. A spokesman for Schumer told The Hill that the Senate Democratic leader was meeting with Pence “at the White House’s request” and that Schumer expected to get a readout of Trump’s lunch with GOP lawmakers.
“The Vice President came in for a discussion and made an offer. Unfortunately, we’re…