The federal government is officially in a partial shutdown after Senate Republicans failed to receive enough votes to pass a short-term spending bill Friday that included funding for a border wall.
The Senate voted to proceed with the government funding bill 48-47, as many senators were not present for the floor vote, and Vice President Mike Pence arrived for a tie-breaking vote. Alabama Sen. Doug Jones was the only Democrat who voted for the bill. He agreed because of a deal reportedly put together by Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, which says senators will not vote on anything else until they figure out the spending bill.
President Donald Trump asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before the vote to use a nuclear option to end the filibuster and pass funding for the border wall, which McConnell did not do. The House and Senate are reportedly working with a “skeleton crew” and are not expecting to vote until after Christmas.
The two parties will now have to figure out an agreement, and the senators must be present for a vote on the Senate floor to send a bill to the president to sign and end the government shutdown.
This comes as House Republicans passed the short-term spending bill Thursday after adding the $5 billion Trump demanded for border wall funding to the continuing resolution (CR). The vote passed the House 217-185 and needed approval from the Senate before it could have received a signature from Trump. (RELATED: Exclusive: House Freedom Caucus Will Vote ‘No’ On Short-Term Funding Bill Over Border Wall Funding)
“The time to stand up for the American people and fight for wall funding is now. If the president vetoes a CR without wall funding, the American people and his allies in Congress will back him up. We’ll support him. The time to act is now. That’s why we were elected and it’s time we follow through,” North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.
Funding for the government was set to expire on Dec. 7. However, the House of Representatives passed a two-week resolution to avoid a government shutdown by unanimous consent in a voice vote, meaning members did not have to be present for the vote. The Senate approved the bill, funding the government until Dec. 21.
The new bill would have funded the government until Feb. 8. Democrats will have control of the House beginning Jan. 3.
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