President Trump warned early Friday there could be a “shutdown coming” if Senate Democrats block the vote to pass the short-term spending bill that would keep the government funded.
The House of Representatives passed the stop-gap spending bill that would avert a full government shutdown late Thursday. The bill, also known as a continuing resolution (CR), was sent to the Senate for a vote following its approval.
“Government Funding Bill past [sic] last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate –but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!” Trump tweeted early Friday.
The large majority of Democrats oppose the bill, but Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, has said he will cross the aisle and vote yes.
However, a senior senate source told Fox News to “expect a shutdown over the weekend,” perhaps lasting two to three days.
At least three Republican senators have said they will vote against the bill – Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rand Paul, R-Ky. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is not in Washington for the vote.
“I’m not going to vote for a CR. You’re destroying the military here,” Graham said.
“If we say we’re fiscally conservative, we ought to be fiscally conservative, so I’m not voting for raising the spending caps and I’m not voting for $700 billion deficits,” Paul said on Fox News Thursday.
This means a maximum of 47 Republicans and 1 Democrat are set to vote “yes” to keep the government running. A simple majority is needed to pass the bill.
Republicans have a narrow majority in the Senate – 51 versus the 49 senators who caucus with the Democrats. But without full Republican support, the funding of the government through 11:59:59 p.m. Friday is unclear.
Democrats will filibuster the bill, a move that could delay or even prevent entirely, a vote to keep the government running.
Republican leadership needs 60 “yea” votes to break a filibuster – meaning they need the help of at least 13 Democratic senators, which, at this point, seems unlikely.
If Republicans manage to garner the votes to break that filibuster, another 30 hours of debate are available for opponents of the bill, which means a vote in the Senate to keep the government open may not happen until Sunday.
Unless there is bipartisan support and cooperation, the government will shut down.
“Democrats have no place to hide here,” a source close to Republican leadership told Fox News.
“Democrats have no place to hide here,”
The blame game continued, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., warned that the short-term fix wasn’t sufficient.
“We can’t keep kicking the can down the road,” Schumer said. “In another month, we’ll be right back here, at this moment, with the same web of problems at our feet, in no better position to solve them.”
The bill would keep the government funded through Feb. 16, and includes a six-year extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), but there is nothing in the bill bringing Democrats to the table.
For weeks, Democrats have pushed for language in a spending package that would protect some 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. That language would move to be a renewal of the Obama-era Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Trump administration ended in September.
Republicans, on the other hand, are pushing for an increase in defense funding, with guidance from the White House for language that would apply stronger border security and begin construction of Trump’s paramount campaign promise – a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Democratic senators’ fixation on illegal immigration has already blocked us from making progress on long-term spending talks,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. “That same fixation has them threatening to filibuster funding for the government.”
And Republican sources said Schumer’s push to block the vote doesn’t make sense.
“They’re not going to vote to fund the government with a short-term CR just to put pressure on an issue that is already being negotiated, and that is not a real issue until March,” a source told Fox News.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, no current beneficiaries of the DACA program will be impacted before March 5, 2018.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday urged Democrats to “do what’s right.”
“Last night House Republicans votes for a bipartisan deal to keep the government open and protect our military, seniors, & children’s healthcare. Today Senate Democrats can join Republicans and do what’s right or shut down the government and hurt Americans who need it most,” Sanders tweeted early Friday.
The government shutdown looms on the eve of Trump’s one year anniversary as president of the United States.
A White House official told Fox News that the president will not go to Mar-a-Lago, as initially scheduled.
“The President will not be going to Florida until the CR passes.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, John Roberts, Kristin Brown, Mike Emmanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.