WASHINGTON — With a lot of the federal authorities shut down, the Home and Senate had been reconvening for a uncommon Saturday session, hoping to discover a approach to restart the movement of funds no less than briefly.
However at the same time as they tried to cooperate, Republicans and Democrats concurrently blamed one another for the disaster, which unfolded one yr to the day after President Trump’s inauguration. The shutdown dangers political peril for each side, and lawmakers continued to insist on Saturday that they had been longing for a decision.
The likeliest path for lawmakers to reopen the federal government is to agree on a stopgap spending measure that stretches longer than the few days that Senate Democrats need, however shorter than the 4 weeks that the Home authorized on Thursday night time.
However agreeing on the size of the stopgap invoice — primarily, a matter of circling a date on the calendar — is difficult by quite a lot of contentious points that lawmakers have but to resolve, significantly the destiny of a whole lot of hundreds of younger immigrants delivered to the nation illegally as kids.
By Saturday morning, there was discuss of a compromise, however the path to securing a deal that would move the Senate nonetheless appeared hazy. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the bulk chief, is proposing to shorten the short-term spending invoice in order that it will expire Feb. eight as an alternative of Feb. 16 — an extension of three weeks as an alternative of 4.
However Senate Democrats didn’t instantly get on board with that concept, and it was not clear when a vote on the proposal is likely to be held.
“One thing like that may be a prescription for bother,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, mentioned Friday night time, arguing interval shorter than three weeks would encourage selections on urgent points.
The shutdown, the primary since 2013, took impact after the overwhelming majority of Senate Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans to dam the spending invoice that had handed the Home.
The vote got here after a day of nice uncertainty, with a gathering between Mr. Trump and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic chief, elevating the specter of a last-minute deal. However that by no means materialized.
“All I do know is that love is the reply,” mentioned Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana. “However there doesn’t appear to be a lot round right here proper now.”
To reopen the federal government, no less than a dozen or so Senate Democrats will more than likely have to conform to any deal, since 60 votes can be required for the measure to clear the Senate. The Home would then have to provide its approval as properly. Home members had been scheduled to depart city on Friday for a weeklong recess, however members had been suggested to stay in Washington given the potential have to vote on a Senate compromise.
Early Saturday morning, Mr. Schumer known as for the president to take a seat down with congressional leaders from each events to work out a deal that may enable the federal government to be open on Monday.
“When President Trump decides he’s lastly prepared to steer his occasion to a deal, Democrats can be prepared, keen and desirous to clinch it,” Mr. Schumer mentioned on the Senate ground.
However Republicans, who moved swiftly to model the disaster because the “Schumer shutdown,” didn’t appear desirous to make concessions, and, in impact, reward Democrats for largely opposing the stopgap invoice.
Mr. Trump assailed Democrats on Twitter early Saturday morning, pointing to the shutdown as a purpose that extra Republicans wanted to be elected within the midterm elections this yr.
The destiny of the younger undocumented immigrants referred to as Dreamers is central to the standoff between the 2 events. In September, Mr. Trump moved to finish an Obama-era program, Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which shielded these immigrants from deportation. The president gave Congress till early March to provide you with an answer, and Democrats are desirous to safe a deal that may shield the Dreamers.
However the White Home is taking a agency stance about entertaining immigration calls for whereas the federal government is closed.
“We is not going to negotiate the standing of illegal immigrants whereas Democrats maintain our lawful residents hostage over their reckless calls for,” mentioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White Home press secretary, who described Senate Democrats as “obstructionist losers.”
Consultant Doug LaMalfa, Republican of California, argued that Democrats shouldn’t “maintain 320 million Individuals ransom” over serving to “a handful of unlawful immigrants.” And Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, mentioned his Democratic colleagues had miscalculated their leverage.
“The minority wants to acknowledge they’re the minority,” Mr. Tillis mentioned. “Any time you provide you with a posture that just about suggests that you simply’re negotiating from the place of the vast majority of the physique, it’s not an excellent look.”
However Democrats argued that it was actually the ineptitude of Republicans — significantly of Mr. Trump, whom they describe as an erratic and unreliable negotiating associate — that had led to the shutdown.
“Regardless of controlling the Home, the Senate and the White Home, the Republicans had been so incompetent, so negligent, that they couldn’t get it collectively to maintain authorities open,” Consultant Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic chief, mentioned on Saturday morning after the Home got here into session.
Hours earlier than the shutdown, Mr. Trump and Mr. Schumer had closed in on a deal. However these talks ultimately fell aside, and as soon as the federal government closed, Mr. Schumer positioned the blame squarely on the president, who he mentioned walked away from an settlement.
Mr. Schumer described the “Trump shutdown” as a “excellent encapsulation of the chaos he’s unleashed on our authorities.”
“As a substitute of dwelling as much as the nice deal maker he marketed himself to be,” Mr. Schumer mentioned, “he’s been the only driving power in scuttling bipartisan offers in Congress.”