It’s official: The government will be partially shut down through Christmas. Washington remains deeply divided and nowhere near a resolution of the shutdown that began early Saturday morning, with all sides now anticipating the impasse will continue into the first weeks of January, Ed O’Keefe reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday that there is no deal, and the Senate is adjourned until Thursday, Dec. 27. The White House and Capitol Hill have made little progress towards finding a compromise — President Trump is demanding $5 billion for his border wall, and Democrats insist they won’t give him any of that funding. The government partially shut down at midnight Friday.
Mr. Trump will remain in town for Christmas. He was supposed to go to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
The partial shutdown won’t have much of an effect on holiday plans. The post office will stay open, so gift and holiday card stragglers can still put them in the mail. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents will still work, and air travel would continue virtually unaffected.
Government employees who are considered “essential,” such as many Secret Service agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents and U.S. troops deployed at the border, will still be working. But a shutdown creates a risk for hundreds of thousands of federal workers: More than 420,000 federal employees would have to go to work without pay. More than 380,000 will be furloughed. Those who work will get paid eventually – and those furloughed likely will – but depending how long the shutdown lasts, they could miss a paycheck.
Funding that expired at midnight Saturday covers the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Departure of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among other federal entities.
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With no deal reached, Mr. Trump will remain in D.C. for Christmas, the White House announced late Saturday.
First Lady Melania Trump, who had already flown to Florida with their son, Barron, will return. The Trumps were supposed to spend the holidays at their Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
“Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C. and the first lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats and the White House are still “very far apart” after meeting Saturday.
“The vice president came in for a discussion and made an offer. Unfortunately, we’re still very far apart,” the spokesperson said.
So, the partial shutdown continues.
Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus who is pushing the president to stick with his $5 billion border wall demand, said the president is “prepared for a very long government shutdown.”
“The president is prepared for a very long government shutdown, albeit a partial government shutdown. But he’s prepared for a longer battle based on the negotiations so far,” Meadows told CBS News’ Alan He.
Meadows was among the Republicans who had lunch with the president Saturday, and he has been publicly encouraging the president to stick with his promise to build a border wall.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, another Republican who met with Mr. Trump Saturday, said this will be an “extended shutdown.”
“There may be a substantial number of federal employees that are furloughed not for a day or two or even a week or two, it could be a lot longer based on my conversation with the president today at the White House,” Gaetz said.
Vice President Mike Pence began to leave Capitol Hill just after 3:45 p.m., after conversations with leaders in Congress. Pence has been working to strike a deal on behalf of the White House, while Mr. Trump remains at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
It’s unclear what the next step in negotiations are, with both sides seeming to be at a stalemate. Whatever the case, this partial shutdown is lasting through Christmas.
The Senate is adjourning until Thursday without a deal, meaning a shutdown will not be resolved until after Christmas.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday shortly after 3 p.m. that the Senate will leave for the Christmas holiday, and return for a formal meeting Thursday, Dec. 27, at 4 p.m.
“As I said earlier today when we opened, I’m glad that productive discussions are continuing,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “When these negotiations produce a solution that is acceptable to all parties, which means 60 votes in the senate, a majority in the House, and a presidential signature, at that point we will take it up on the Senate floor. Senators will be notified when a vote is scheduled, and in the meantime, the discussions and negotiations continue.”
The Senate will technically hold a “pro forma” session Monday, but that is unlikely to yield anything, and senators are leaving today for the holiday.
Mr. Trump also tweeted that the Senate is adjourned until Thursday.
The White House hosted a background call with reporters that revealed relatively little new information. But the senior administration official who took questions said they still expect Mexico to eventually pay for the wall.
The official said the administration continues to believe Mexico will pay for the wall even though Mexico has said it will not, adding that the current debate is about making as much progress as possible on the wall and border security.
The official wouldn’t say whether Mr. Trump would accept anything less than the $5 billion the president has demanded recently, echoing White House aides who have said they won’t negotiate through the press.
“It’s about getting the appropriate amount of money that’s necessary to build those barriers and being able to have the flexibility to build them,” the senior administration official said.
The senior administration official said the administration hopes will come in the next days, but they’re ready if it takes longer than that.
Sen. Richard Shelby, the Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, wasn’t optimistic when he spoke with reporters after returning from lunch with Mr. Trump and other Republicans at the White House.
Asked if he thought the shutdown would last week, Shelby said, “I just said not days, I don’t think it’s imminent we’re going to reach a deal.”
Shelby did say the president was “exuberant” at lunch.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Saturday, a congressional aide confirmed to CBS News.
Schumer is expected to remind Pence that Senate Democrats will not accept any budget proposal that includes funding for a border wall. The meeting was scheduled at the White House’s request, according to the congressional aide.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, delivered a strong rebuke of President Trump on Saturday afternoon, calling him “beholden” to the far right.
He said the White House dismissed a bill passed by the Senate Wednesday night to keep the government funded through Feb. 8 because of criticism leveled against the president by conservative media.
Schumer accused Mr. Trump of being “unwilling to shoulder even the slightest critique” from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham. Both media firebrands have urged the president to stand firm on his border wall funding request.
Schumer reiterated that his caucus will not budge on Mr. Trump’s $5.7 billion demand to fund the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The Senate is not interested in swindling American taxpayers for an unnecessary, ineffective, and wasteful policy,” he said on the Senate floor.
Schumer concluded his remarks by noting that congressional staff from both parties continue negotiations to reopen the government.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday afternoon that it’s up to Democrats and President Trump to come to a deal, and that he hoped one could be reached “sooner rather than later.”
He said any deal to get the government fully back up and running would need support from Democrats to pass, as well as Mr. Trump’s signature.
President Trump is having lunch with a “large group” of people at the White House residence on border security, although he didn’t initially name anyone.
The White House sent out a list of participants that included conservative firebrands like Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida.
A handful of members of Congress have publicly said they will not be taking a paycheck while Congress is shut down, according to CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan:
Incoming member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that next time there’s a shutdown, Congress shouldn’t get paid.
President Trump tweeted late Saturday morning that he is “in the White House, working hard.”
But he didn’t just mention the shutdown — he appears to be miffed by intense criticism, even from his allies, over his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
The president can work from anywhere. But Mr. Trump was not in the Oval Office when he tweeted that, as a Marine guards the outside of the Oval whenever he is there and there was no Marine present as of that tweet.
There is no deal yet, according to a Republican senator, as the GOP looks for a compromise that Mr. Trump will sign. The president and his White House have yet to say what Mr. Trump will settle on for his border wall.
Vice President Mike Pence and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner also don’t seem to have clarity on what the president will sign. If there is no deal today, then members could go home for Christmas and return later in the week — but everything is up in the air.
As of mid-morning Saturday, the first day of the partial shutdown, the White House had issued no guidance to the media on the president’s public schedule. The White House sends out the president’s schedule each night for the following day — but not this day.
It’s unclear what Mr. Trump is up to, although First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump are already in Mar-a-Lago. As of mid-morning, he had yet to tweet.
The disruption affects 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. An additional 380,000 will be furloughed, meaning they will 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 were to stay home; many parks were expected to close.
The Senate passed legislation ensuring that workers will receive back pay. The House seemed sure to follow suit.
Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement early Saturday calling it the “Trump shutdown.” The statement said that if the shutdown continues into January when Democrats take control of the House, “the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government.”
“Regrettably, America has now entered a Trump Shutdown,” said the statement. “Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House. But instead of honoring his responsibility to the American people, President Trump threw a temper tantrum and convinced House Republicans to push our nation into a destructive Trump Shutdown in the middle of the holiday season. President Trump has said more than 25 times that he wanted a shutdown and now he has gotten what he wanted.”
The government is officially partially shut down.
A number of departments and agencies are funded through September 2019, thanks to previously passed appropriations bills. Funding that expires after Dec. 21 covers the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Departure of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among some other federal entities.
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney is instructing agencies “to execute plans for an orderly shutdown,” The Associated Press reports.
In a memo for government executives, Mulvaney wrote that they are “hopeful” the “lapse in appropriations will be of short duration.” But employees should report to work when scheduled to “undertake orderly shutdown activities.”
Mulvaney was seen exiting the Capitol on Friday around 8:30 p.m.
Hours after the House ended its session, the Senate adjourned with a deal, meaning the partial shutdown was set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Vice President Mike Pence, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and special adviser Jared Kushner were seen exiting the Capitol at 8:39 p.m.
CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe reports that Washington is poised to endure a longer-than-comfortable stalemate — not resolving until later next week at the earliest. There are no signs of a Christmas miracle arriving before Tuesday.
First lady Melania Trump and 12-year-old Barron arrived at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement that “it has long been the family’s tradition to spend their Christmas holiday at Mar-a-Lago. Her plans to travel with her son to their Florida home for his winter break have not changed this year.”
President Trump had initially planned to leave Friday for a 16-day trip to Mar-a-Lago, but those plans were changed amid the threat of the government shutdown.
The following agencies will partly close due to the shutdown:
The National Parks will remain “as accessible as possible,” according to National Park Service Chief Spokesperson Jeremy Barnum.
But that doesn’t they will be fully accessible.
“In the event of a government shutdown national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures,” Barnum said. “For example, this means that roads that have already been open will remain open (think snow removal) and vault toilets (wilderness type restrooms) will remain open. However services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds and full service restrooms, will not be operating.”
Mr. Trump tweeted a shutdown could last a “long time” if it happens.
But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders offered no details Friday morning as to how long a “very long time” could be.”
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