Reporting by Mike Emanuel
Facing a government shutdown tonight at midnight, President Trump invited the Senate democratic leader to the White House trying to see if they can find common ground.
Senator Chuck Schumer spoke briefly when he returned to the U.S. Capitol—
“We had a long and detailed meeting. We discussed all of the major outstanding issues. We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements. Discussions will continue.
Needing 60 yes votes to pass the Senate, Republicans must cant Democrat support to avert the government shutdown tonight.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, “ this is completely unfair and uncompassionate for my Democratic colleagues to filibuster government funding, harm our troops, and jeopardize health coverage to 9 million children because extreme elements of their base want illegal immigration to crowd out every other priority.”
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin says it’s gotten to this point due to a failure of GOP leadership—“When you look across the spectrum of the three branches of government, the Republicans are in control. What are they offering us? The fourth CR.”
This marks the fourth continuing resolution since October 1st, and Senator Chris Van Hollen says that’s unacceptable.
“Yes, we should extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, we need to do that but we also need to do our job which we should’ve done back in October 1st, the first day of this fiscal year, and actually adopt a bipartisan budget for the United States of America.”
The House passed the four week government funding extension Thursday night. The vote was 230-197, mostly carried by Republicans with some Democrats joining in the end.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says there’s nothing controversial about keeping the government running and providing health insurance to nine million children for six more years, which led some Republicans to insist this is all about politics and the Democrat’s liberal base demanding an outcome now.
There are ongoing bipartisan House and Senate negotiations for a fix on immigration featuring John Cornyn and Dick Durbin in the Senate and Kevin McCarthy and Steny Hoyer in the House.
The President set a March 5th deadline to tackle the issue.
Republicans sound confident that Schumer has led Democrats into a box canyon. They suggest rank and file Democrats will be looking for a deal in the hours ahead before what they’re calling a “Schumer Showdown.”