The Latest: Mick Mulvaney says shutdown likely to last into 2019

By  | 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the government shutdown (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

A top White House official says it's "very possible" the partial government shutdown will stretch into next year.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" he's awaiting word from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York after the White House presented a counteroffer in a dispute over funding for President Donald Trump's border wall.

Mulvaney declined to outline the offer. But he says it's between Trump's $5.7 billion request and the $1.3 billion Democrats offered.

A stalemate over the wall led parts of the government to shut down Saturday after funding for numerous departments and agencies expired.

The shutdown was expected to last through Thursday. Both the House and Senate have adjourned until later in the week.

____

2:55 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has arrived at Capitol to meet with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer as negotiations continue over ending the partial government shutdown.

Schumer's office says he's talking with Pence at the request of the White House.

Schumer intends to tell Pence that any proposal that includes money for President Donald Trump's border wall cannot gain the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate. Schumer earlier Saturday said money for wall the will "never pass the Senate, not today, not next week, not next year."

Trump also had a lunch meeting with lawmakers, including some House conservatives who have adamantly backed billions of dollars for the wall. All the lawmakers at the White House event were Republicans.

One-quarter of the federal government has shut down, beginning Saturday.

------

1:15 p.m.

The Senate's top Democrat says the partial government shutdown could end immediately if President Donald Trump abandons his demand for money for a border wall with Mexico.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York spoke almost directly to Trump from the Senate floor, saying, "If you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall."

Democrats are refusing to accept Trump's $5 billion demand for wall funds. They're offering to keep spending at existing levels of $1.3 billion for border fencing and other security.

Schumer says Democrats are open to any proposals that don't include the wall. He blames the shutdown on Trump's "temper tantrum" after the president refused to sign an earlier bipartisan bill to keep the government running.

Congress is in a rare Saturday session amid the standoff as talks continue.

___

12:20 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it's up to President Donald Trump and Democrats to reach a deal to end the partial government shutdown.

The impasse is over Trump's demand for billions of dollars in money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

As the Senate returned to work Saturday, McConnell said he hoped an agreement could be reached "sooner rather than later."

“It is no mystery why securing our nation’s borders is such a major priority for Republicans in the Senate, and Republicans in the House, and for President Trump. Any look at the plain facts leads to one single conclusion: The crisis of security at our southern border is real. Over the past year, Customs and Border Protection’s records of apprehensions and interdictions at our southern border are literally staggering," said McConnell in a news release.

He says any deal to re-open government would need Democratic support for passage and Trump's signature to be signed into law.

Talks are continuing, but there's no clear path forward.

Trump wants $5.7 billion for the border wall with Mexico. Democrats are only willing to keep funding at existing levels, $1.3 billion, for border fencing and security, but not the wall.

One-quarter of the federal government shuttered beginning Saturday.

___

12:10 p.m.

The House and Senate are gaveling back in for a rare weekend session amid a partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for billions of dollars for a border wall.

Talks continue between congressional leaders and the White House, according to a Senate Democratic aide. But no votes are scheduled Saturday.

Lawmakers are being told they'll have 24 hours to return to Washington to act on any proposals.

Democrats continue to resist Trump's $5.7 billion "concrete wall." They have proposed keeping existing funding, $1.3 billion, for border fencing and other security.

Trump has given shifting views on the shutdown. Both parties say the president must sign off on any agreement before votes.

Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials met late Friday with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others.

8:50 a.m.

Negotiations are expected to continue in Washington to try to end the partial government shutdown, and the House and Senate have scheduled rare Saturday sessions.

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown." He says Trump administration officials are hopeful the shutdown "will be of short duration."

Congressional Democrats are refusing to give in to President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion to start building the U.S.-Mexico border wall he's long promised.

The gridlock blocks money for nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State, and Justice.

The lack of funds will disrupt many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees.

___

8:40 a.m.

Christmas-season gridlock has descended on the nation's capital just before the holiday, with a partial government shutdown over a dispute about money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congressional Democrats are refusing to accede to President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion to start erecting his long-promised barrier. The stalemate comes as Republicans are in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.

Vice President Mike Pence, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney left the Capitol late Friday after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no apparent compromise.

Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown."

With negotiations expected to resume, the House and Senate scheduled rare Saturday sessions.

___

12:15 a.m.

A partial federal shutdown took hold early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion to start erecting his cherished Mexican border wall, a chaotic postscript for Republicans in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.

Vice President Mike Pence, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney left the Capitol late Friday after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no apparent compromise. "We don't have a deal. We're still talking," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters.

Late Friday, Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown." He wrote that administration officials were "hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration" - an expectation that was widely shared.

With negotiations expected to continue, the House and Senate both scheduled rare Saturday sessions. House members were told they'd get 24 hours' notice before a vote.

The gridlock blocks money for nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State, and Justice.

The lack of funds will disrupt many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and will work unpaid just days before Christmas, while 380,000 will be furloughed, meaning they'll stay home without pay.

Those being furloughed include nearly everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. About 8 in 10 employees of the National Park Service will stay home and many parks were expected to close.

The Senate passed legislation ensuring workers will receive back pay, which the House seemed sure to approve.

Some agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, were already funded for the year in agreements reached earlier, and they will operate as usual.

The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, will not be affected because it's an independent agency. Social Security checks will still be mailed, troops will remain on duty and food inspections will continue.

Also still functioning will be the FBI, the Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard. Transportation Security Administration officers will continue to staff airport checkpoints and air traffic controllers will also remain at work.

Trump has openly savored a shutdown over the wall for months, saying last week he'd be "proud" to have one and saying Friday he was "totally prepared for a very long" closure. While many of Congress' most conservative Republicans were welcoming such a confrontation, most GOP lawmakers have wanted to avoid one, since polling shows the public broadly opposes the wall and a shutdown over it.

"None of them have succeeded," veteran Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said of past shutdowns. He said the political fallout has always damaged "Republicans who said, 'By God, we'll show them.' It doesn't work that way, it just doesn't."

Despite saying last week he'd not blame Democrats for the closure, Trump and his GOP allies spent the last two days blaming Democrats anyway. Trump said now was the time for Congress to provide taxpayers' money for the wall, even though he's said repeatedly that Mexico will pay for it - something that country has repeatedly rebuffed.

"This is our only chance that we'll ever have, in our opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security," Trump said Friday. Democrats will take control of the House January 3, and they oppose major funding for wall construction.

Looking for a way to claim victory, Trump said he would accept money for a "Steel Slat Barrier" with spikes on the top, which he said would be just as effective as a "wall" and "at the same time beautiful."

Trump called GOP senators to the White House Friday morning, but Republicans said afterward that the session did not produce a strategy.

Early this week, the Senate approved a bipartisan deal keeping the government open into February and providing $1.3 billion for border security projects but not the wall. In a GOP victory Thursday, the House rebelled and approved a package temporarily financing the government but also providing $5.7 billion for the border wall.

Friday afternoon, a Senate procedural vote showed that Republicans lacked the 60 votes they'd need to force that measure through their chamber. That jump-started negotiations between Congress and the White House.

Republicans conceded that one of their biggest hurdles was Trump's legendary unpredictability and proclivity for abruptly changing his mind.

"The biggest problem is, we just don't know what the president will sign," said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

So restive were senators returning to Washington that McConnell and others sported lapel buttons declaring them members of the "Cranky Senate Coalition."

The White House said Trump did not go to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holiday.

Original Story
White House negotiators left the Capitol late Friday, and the House and Senate adjourned without a spending deal, ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight with President Donald Trump demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised Mexican border wall.

Trump's top envoys were straining to broker a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some of their own Republican Party's lawmakers. But Vice President Mike Pence, incoming White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner departed after hours spent dashing back and forth, with no outward signs of an agreement.

"We're going to have a shutdown," Trump said via video message on Twitter less than three hours from the deadline. "There's nothing we can do about that because we need the Democrats to give us their votes."

Trump added, "The shutdown hopefully will not last long."

The shutdown would disrupt government operations and leave hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed or forced to work without pay just days before Christmas. Senators passed legislation ensuring workers receive back pay; it will be sent to the House.

Mulvaney, who is currently the White House budget chief, sent out a memo around 10 p.m. instructing agencies "to execute plans for an orderly shutdown" when the funding lapses at midnight.

At a White House bill signing, Trump said the government was "totally prepared for a very long shutdown," though hardly anyone thought a lengthy shutdown was likely.

The president tried to pin the blame on Democrats, even though just last week he said he would be "proud" to claim ownership of a shutdown in a fight for the wall. Campaigning for office two years ago, he had declared the wall would go up "so fast it will make your head spin." He also promised Mexico would pay for it, which Mexico has said it will never do.

"This is our only chance that we'll ever have, in our opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security," Trump said Friday at the White House. Democrats will take control of the House in January, and they oppose major funding for wall construction.

Looking for a way to claim victory, Trump said he would accept money for a "Steel Slat Barrier" with spikes on the top, which he said would be just as effective as a "wall" and "at the same time beautiful."

Congress is planning to be back in session Saturday, but no votes were scheduled. Lawmakers were told they would be given 24-hour notice to return to Washington.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, left negotiations calling the chances of an accord by midnight "probably slim."

Trump convened Republican senators for a morning meeting, but the lengthy back-and-forth did not appear to set a strategy for moving forward. He has demanded $5.7 billion.

"I was in an hour meeting on that and there was no conclusion," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly set in motion a procedural vote on a House Republican package that would give Trump the money he wants for the wall, but it was not expected to pass.

To underscore the difficulty, that Senate vote to proceed was stuck in a long holding pattern as senators were being recalled to Washington. They had already approved a bipartisan package earlier this week that would continue existing border security funding, at $1.3 billion, but without new money for Trump's wall. Many were home for the holidays.

After a marathon five-hour delay Pence cast a tie-breaking vote that loosened the logjam, kick-starting negotiations that senators hoped could produce a resolution.

"What this does is push this ahead to a negotiation," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. He called it "the best we can do to keep from shutting down government - or if it does shut down, shutting down very briefly."

Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said it looked like a shutdown might not be avoidable, but top leaders were talking and he indicated any government disruption could be short.

Amid the impasse, Pence and the others were dispatched to the Capitol to meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who told them Trump's demands for wall money would not pass the Senate, according to the senator's spokesman.

Schumer told Pence, Mulvaney, and Kushner that other offers to keep the government running with existing levels of border security funds remain on the table.

Pence and the others later walked across the Capitol to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The Senate was expected to reject the House measure because Democratic votes are needed and McConnell showed little interest in changing the rules - as Trump proposed - to allow a simple majority for passage.

One possibility was that the Senate might strip the border wall funds out of the package, pass it and send it back to the House. House lawmakers were told to remain in town on call.

Another idea was to revive an earlier bipartisan Senate bill with $1.6 billion for border security but not the wall.

"The biggest problem is, we just don't know what the president will sign," said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

So restive were senators returning to Washington that McConnell and others sported lapel buttons declaring them members of the "Cranky Senate Coalition."

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, said he returned to the Lone Star state Thursday only to get back on an early Friday morning flight to Washington.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz flew all the way home to Hawaii, tweeting that he spent 17 minutes with his family before returning on the 11-hour flight.

"Wheels down IAD ready to vote no on this stupid wall," Schatz tweeted Friday, referring to Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

Only a week ago, Trump insisted during a televised meeting at the White House he would take ownership of a shutdown over his border wall. "I will be the one to shut it down," he asserted.

But with the hours dwindling before the midnight deadline, he sought to reframe the debate and blame Democrats for the impasse that threatens hundreds of thousands of federal workers at the end-of-the-year holidays.

The White House said Trump would not go to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holiday if the government were shutting down.

At issue is funding for nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State, and Justice, as well as national parks and forests.

Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are funded for the year and would continue to operate as usual. The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected because it's an independent agency.

Both the House and Senate packages would extend government funding through Feb. 8, all but guaranteeing another standoff once Democrats take control of the House in the New Year.

"There are a lot of us who want to avoid a shutdown," said Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. "I've been through about five of them in my career. None of them have worked in terms of their intent."

Earlier Version
Even as frenetic negotiations continued at the Capitol, the House adjourned without a deal on spending Friday night, all but ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight with President Donald Trump demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised Mexican border wall.

Trump's top envoys were straining to broker a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some of their own Republican Party's lawmakers. But as Vice President Mike Pence, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner dashed back and forth at the Capitol there were no outward signs of a deal.

The House adjourned, and senators were told there would be no more votes Friday night.

The shutdown, scheduled for midnight, would disrupt government operations and leave hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed or forced to work without pay just days before Christmas.

At a White House bill signing, Trump said the government was "totally prepared for a very long shutdown," though hardly anyone thought a lengthy shutdown was likely.

The president tried to pin the blame on Democrats, even though just last week he said he would be "proud" to claim ownership of a shutdown in a fight for the wall. Campaigning for office two years ago, he had declared the wall would go up "so fast it will make your head spin." He also promised Mexico would pay for it, which Mexico has said it will never do.

"This is our only chance that we'll ever have, in our opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security," Trump said Friday at the White House. Democrats will take control of the House in January, and they oppose major funding for wall construction.

Looking for a way to claim victory, Trump said he would accept money for a "Steel Slat Barrier" with spikes on the top, which he said would be just as effective as a "wall" and "at the same time beautiful."

Trump convened Republican senators for a morning meeting, but the lengthy back-and-forth did not appear to set a strategy for moving forward. A person granted anonymity because they were unauthorized to discuss the private session said the president would not get behind lower levels of funding the senators discussed. He has demanded $5.7 billion.

"I was in an hour meeting on that and there was no conclusion," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell returned to Capitol Hill and quickly set in motion a procedural vote on a House Republican package that would give Trump the money he wants for the wall, but it was not expected to pass.

To underscore the difficulty, that Senate vote to proceed was stuck in a long holding pattern as senators were being recalled to Washington. They had already approved a bipartisan package earlier this week that would continue existing border security funding, at $1.3 billion, but without new money for Trump's wall. Many were home for the holidays.

Only after a marathon five-hour delay Pence cast a tie-breaking vote that loosened the logjam, kick-starting negotiations that senators hoped could produce a resolution.

"What this does is push this ahead to a negotiation," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who wanted some guarantee the next vote would be on an agreement reached by all sides. He called it "the best we can to keep from shutting down government -- or if it does shut down, shutting down very briefly."

Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said it looked like a shutdown might not be avoidable, but top leaders were talking and he indicated any government disruption could be short.

Amid the impasse, Pence and the others were dispatched to the Capitol to meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who told them that Trump's demands for wall money would not pass the Senate, according to the senator's spokesman.

Schumer told Pence, Mulvaney and Kushner other offers to keep the government running with existing levels of border security funds remain on the table.

Pence and the others later walked across the Capitol to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The Senate was expected to reject the House measure because Democratic votes are needed and McConnell showed little interest in changing the rules - as Trump proposed - to allow a simple majority for passage.

One possibility was that the Senate might strip the border wall funds out of the package, pass it and send it back to the House. House lawmakers were told to remain in town on call.

Another idea was to revive an earlier bipartisan Senate bill with $1.6 billion for border security but not the wall.

"The biggest problem is, we just don't know what the president will sign," said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

So restive were senators returning to Washington that McConnell and others sported lapel buttons declaring them members of the "Cranky Senate Coalition."

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, said he returned to the Lone Star state on Thursday only to get back on an early Friday morning flight to Washington.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz flew all the way home to Hawaii, tweeting that he spent 17 minutes with his family, before returning on the 11-hour flight.

"Wheels down IAD ready to vote no on this stupid wall," Schatz tweeted Friday, referring to Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

Only a week ago, Trump insisted during a televised meeting at the White House he would take ownership of a shutdown over his border wall. "I will be the one to shut it down," he asserted.

But with the hours dwindling before the midnight deadline, he sought to reframe the debate and blame Democrats for the impasse that threatens hundreds of thousands of federal workers at the end-of-the-year holidays.

The White House said Trump would not go to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holiday if the government were shutting down.

At issue is funding for nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks and forests.

Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are funded for the year and would continue to operate as usual. The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected because it's an independent agency.

Both the House and Senate packages would extend government funding through Feb. 8, all but guaranteeing another standoff once Democrats take control of the House in the New Year.

"There are a lot of us who want to avoid a shutdown," said Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts. "I've been through about five of them in my career. None of them have worked in terms of their intent."



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus