Senate leaders reach deal to reopen government

Courtesy: CNN
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By: CBS News
January 22, 2018

The Senate overwhelmingly advanced a three-week spending bill Monday afternoon that would reopen the government. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of the vote that he had reached a deal with Republican leaders and that Democrats would vote in favor of the bill.

Senators voted 81-18 to end debate and move to a vote on final passage. If it's approved, the House will have to vote on the proposal. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, signaled Sunday that the House would pass the bill.

Schumer said ahead of the procedural vote at noon that "we will vote today to reopen the government to continue negotiating" a global agreement with the commitment from GOP leaders that if there isn't a deal by the Feb. 8 deadline, the Senate will immediately proceed to legislation dealing with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Schumer said it will be "neutral and fair to all sides" that will get an up or down vote on the floor.

The government shutdown has remained in effect Monday, after senators failed to come to an agreement to end it late Sunday night. Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell attempted to schedule a vote Sunday night that would end the shutdown, but Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer objected.

McConnell had promised that if by Feb. 8, there is no agreement on immigration, the Senate would address DACA and border security, as well as increased defense spending. "Let's step back from the brink" and stop victimizing the American people and get back to work, McConnell argued.

House and Senate lawmakers met throughout the day Sunday to end the government shutdown as the impasse continued into the second day, with both chambers hoping to strike a deal on spending and immigration that would reopen federal agencies ahead of the work week.

Sunday morning, the fragile outlines of a potential deal seemed to be taking shape. On CBS News' "Face the Nation," House Speaker Paul Ryan said the lower chamber has agreed to accept a short-term deal that would fund the government through Feb. 8 if the Senate is able to pass such a bill.

On Saturday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina suggested the bill that would fund the government in exchange for a commitment to move onto immigration after Feb. 8.

Where the shutdown stands on Day 3:

  • Chuck Schumer announces Democrats will vote to reopen the government
  • McConnell commits to addressing DACA and border security on Feb. 8 if those issues have not been resolved
  • Ryan says House would support short-term deal
  • Trump calls on Senate to abolish filibuster

    "After extensive discussions with Senators, on both sides of the aisle, I believe such a proposal would pass if it was understood that after February 8, the Senate would move to an immigration debate with an open amendment process if no agreement has been reached with the White House and House of Representatives," Graham said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

    On Saturday, Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement as federal agencies began implementing shutdown procedures. McConnell told reporters that lawmakers would be "right back at it" for "as long as it takes."

    "We will keep at this until Democrats end their extraordinary filibuster of government funding and children's healthcare, and allow a bipartisan majority of Senators to reopen the federal government for all Americans and get Congress back on track," McConnell said Saturday on the Senate floor. Senate Democrats say they will not support a funding resolution that does not include protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children under the DACA program and spending for disaster relief.

    Follow along below for updates on the shutdown. All times Eastern unless otherwise noted.


    DAY 3 OF SHUTDOWN: Monday, Jan. 22

    12:31 p.m. The Senate is currently voting on a 3-week CR
    This requires 60 votes to advance and is expected to reach or surpass that threshold.

    12:24 p.m. Chuck Schumer announces Democrats will back the 3-week CR during noon vote, vote to re-open the government
    The Senate minority leader said that "we will vote today to re-open the government to continue negotiating" a global agreement with the commitment that if there isn't a deal by the Feb. 8 deadline, the Senate will immediately proceed to legislation dealing with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Schumer said it will be "neutral and fair to all sides" that will get an up or down vote on the floor.

    Schumer said that Congress has "17 days to prevent the Dreamers from being deported."

    He said that the reason the GOP had difficulty keeping the government open was because "they could never get a firm grip o n what the president of their party wanted to do." Schumer said that Mr. Trump "turned away" from two bipartisan compromises that each would have averted a shutdown.

    "My recent offer to the president was a generous one -- I put his signature campaign issue on the table in exchange for DACA," he said. "And still, he turned away."

    The president's "unwillingness to compromise" caused the shutdown, said Schumer, who noted taht he hadn't spoken to Mr. Trump since their meeting on Friday in the Oval Office.

    "The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines," Schumer said.

    12:07 p.m. Senate Democrats positive ahead of key vote at noon
    Moderate Senate Democrats who have participated in the bipartisan talks are sounding very positive about the upcoming vote as they depart the Democratic caucus meeting and head to the Senate Floor.

    12:04 p.m. Jeff Flake expresses confidence Senate vote will lead to re-opening of government


    11:31 a.m. Steve Scalise is out of the hospital after his latest surgery
    GOP members got the news during their conference meeting this morning. Scalise has apparently been texting his colleagues and consulting with leadership on decisions during this last hospital stay. No word on when exactly he will be back, but soon.

    11:27 a.m. White House legislative affairs director Marc Short says House is "waiting on the Senate"
    Short just walked out of the House GOP Conference meeting. He said off camera that the House is "basically just waiting on the Senate." He was asked if he thinks they'll be able to resolve the situation today, and Short responded "I hope so. We should know in the next few minutes."

    11:13 a.m. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, weighs in on the shutdown blame game
    "I think ardent Republicans think Republicans are winning and ardent Democrats think Democrats are winning. And everybody else in America is kind of wondering how folks up here made it through the birth canal," Kennedy told reporters.

    10:27 a.m. Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham speak after meeting
    Speaking to reporters, Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, said that she had hosted a meeting of what she calls the "Common Sense Coalition" Monday morning in which 25 senators -- both Republicans and Democrats -- attended. She said they've been working throughout the weekend to find a solution to the shutdown.

    10:15 a.m. McConnell speaks on Senate floor ahead of key vote at noon
    "Let me be clear: This immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset, and an amendment process that is fair to all sides," Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says ahead of vote on plan to end government shutdown.

    DAY 2 OF SHUTDOWN: Sunday, Jan. 21

    9:15 p.m. Government remains shut down; vote scheduled for noon Monday
    McConnell initially called for 10 p.m. vote to end the shutdown, and he announced that if by Feb. 8, there is no agreement on immigration, the Senate, assuming that the government remains open, would address DACA and border security, as well as increased defense spending. "Let's step back from the brink" and stop victimizing the American people and get back to work, McConnell said.

    Schumer objected, however. He said that he was "happy to continue the conversation," but said that Democrats and the GOP had "yet to reach an agreement on a path forward."

    McConnell, then called for a vote at noon tomorrow on ending the government shutdown.

    Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, then stood to explain his vote against the 4-week deal on Friday. "We need to deal with this situation on immigration, and we shouldn't wait for the White House to express its preference," he said. But the majority picked up Flake's vote tonight. "We've worked with the majority leader," he said, and while the Feb. 8 deadline is "longer than I would like," it's still shorter than the 4-week spending bill that was defeated Friday.

    8:42 p.m. Senators huddle in McConnell's office
    Cornyn, Flake, Graham and McConnell met in the majority leader's office. Cornyn emerged from McConnell's office saying that he's more optimistic than he has been, although he declined to say specifically what was behind his renewed optimism.

    7:55 p.m. Flake: Potential deal would involve commitment from McConnell to bring immigration bill to floor
    Flake told reporters about a potential deal in which McConnell would commit publicly to bringing an immigration bill to the floor. According to CBS News' Walt Cronkite, Flake said leaders are still negotiating, and they have not yet reached the point at which a deal could be floated with their respective caucuses.

    Flake said that if a deal is reached he thinks the Senate would vote as soon as possible, without holding any more caucus meetings or waiting until 1 a.m.

    Flake is now in McConnell's office.

    After a meeting of 22 moderates late Sunday afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, echoed GOP leaders in saying that if the shutdown isn't dealt with tonight, "it's going to get a lot harder tomorrow." Graham said that Flake would be voting yes on McConnell's proposal, which, he said, meant there were 52 votes for a deal. "To my Democratic friends," Graham said, "don't overplay your hand. The government shutdown is not a good way to get an outcome legislatively. We learned that as Republicans."

    Eight Republicans and 14 Democrats/Independents met in Sen. Susan Collins's office to try to end the impasse, CBS News' John Nolen reports.

    Republicans: Collins, of Maine; Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, of Tennessee; Flake, of Arizona; Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Johnny Isakson, of Georgia; Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska; and Mike Rounds, R-SD.

    Democrats and Independents: Joe Manchin, of West Virginia; Coons, of Delaware; Joe Donnelly, of Indiana; Maggie Hassan, of New Hampshire; Heidi Heitkamp, of North Dakota; Doug Jones, of Alabama; Tim Kaine, of Virginia; Angus King, Independent from Maine; Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota; Claire McCaskill, of Missouri; Bill Nelson, of Florida; Gary Peters, of Michigan; Jeanne Shaheen, of New Hampshire; and Mark Warner, of Virginia.

    5:46 p.m.: Schumer, McConnell stay tight-lipped
    Schumer and McConnell had a meeting Sunday evening -- but wouldn't tell reporters how negotiations are going.

    "What's the score of the ballgame?" McConnell asked reporters as he walked back to his office.

    4:24 p.m.: White House responds to negotiations
    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that President Trump had a "number of calls and received regular updates from his staff on a number of issues" during day two of the government shutdown.

    Sanders noted that Mr. Trump has spoken to Secretaries Shulkin and Nielsen to receive updates on the impact of the government shutdown on their agencies. He also spoke with Leader McCarthy and Sen. John Cornyn.

    She said that Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke with Ryan and McConnell and White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short spoke to "a number of Republican and Democrat members and their staff and has also updated the president."

    "We are continuing to work hard towards reopening the government and making sure our great military and their families, vulnerable children and the American people are being taken care of," Sanders said in a statement.

    In response to Sen. Schumer's recounting of his negotiations with Mr. Trump on the Senate floor Sunday, Sanders issued the following statement:

    "Sen. Schumer's memory is hazy because his account of Friday's meeting is false. And the President's position is clear: we will not negotiate on the status of unlawful immigrants while Sen. Schumer and the Democrats hold the government for millions of Americans and our troops hostage."

    3:17 p.m.: Rep. Kevin McCarthy: Shutdown gets "more serious" on Monday
    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that he's hoping the Senate will move something forward today because the shutdown becomes more serious Monday. "We're just hoping that calmer heads prevail, that in the Senate they see the action and move forward," he said.

    He added, "If they take a week off the continuing resolution, we'll take that. And keep the government working, make sure Monday morning everything is up and running."

    In regard to immigration talks, McCarthy said that negotiations could continue once the government reopens.

    "We were having great meetings prior but unfortunately, the government got shut down. As soon as it opens, we'll go right back to our meetings," he said.

    3 p.m.: Lawmakers talk shutdown negotiations
    Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, told reporters on Capitol Hill that he's "optimistic" about current negotiations over the funding of the federal government, but conceded that there's a "long way to go before we get there."

    Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said that lawmakers were "so close, it's ridiculous."

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said a shutdown "should never ever be used as a bargaining chip for any issue period," and denounced it as "chemical warfare" that should be "banned."

    "It hurts taxpayers, it hurts the military, it hurts our country."

    Alexander said that there were a number of lawmakers who are "ready to go to work on funding for the military over two years, funding for the National Institutes of Health. We're close to agreement on that."

    "The Alexander-Murray proposal to reduce insurance rates to children's health insurance plan, DACA, disaster aid. That's all there. We're on the 10 yard line," he added.

    1:56 p.m.: Graham says Stephen Miller to blame for stalemate
    Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that he thinks Mr. Trump has his "heart right" on the issue of immigration reform, but says "every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members."

    "As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration we are going nowhere. He's been an outlier for years," added Graham, referring to the White House senior policy adviser, an immigration hardliner. Graham predicted that "there will be a breakthrough tonight, if there's going to be a one it will be tonight."

    1:35 p.m.: Democrats hold press conference on status of shutdown
    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says that Democrats could sign onto an agreement "in an hour," calling on the president to come to the negotiating table to resolve the shutdown. Democrats said they were committed to do what they can to ensure military members receive their paychecks during the government shutdown.

    1:18 p.m.: Schumer calls Trump a "dysfunctional president" on Senate floor
    "This political catch-22 never seen before has driven our government to dysfunction," says Schumer of talks with Mr. Trump.

    He says that the dysfunction in Washington creates the "chaos and gridlock we see today." He added that Mr. Trump's "inability to clinch a deal has created the Trump shutdown."

    "He can't take 'yes' for an answer," said Schumer of Mr. Trump's position on immigration, adding that the president "walked away from two bipartisan deals" on a DACA fix.

    Schumer slammed Mr. Trump as being "unwilling to compromise" but said he was "willing to seal the deal" and "sit and work right now" with the president or anyone he designates. "Let's get it done," he added.

    Schumer then pivoted to U.S. military members being unpaid during the shutdown. He blamed McConnell for "preventing our troops from being paid."

    "You don't want to use the troops as hostages. Some on the other side may be doing just that," he added.

    1 p.m.: Senate back in session; McConnell speaks
    The Senate resumes its negotiations on funding the federal government.

    Dr. Barry Black, the Senate chaplain, opened the rare weekend session with a prayer for lawmakers as they "seek to resolve the problem of this government shutdown," asking to "remind them to the miscalculations in our history."

    "Provide them with the faith to trust you to direct their steps as they discontinue the blame game and strive to do the most good for the most people. May our senators be grateful for the opportunity to serve you and country in these grand and challenging time," the chaplain prayed.

    McConnell kicked off floor speeches by announcing if nothing changes in negotiations, a cloture vote will be "no sooner than 1 a.m." He warned the shutdown would be "much worse tomorrow."

    "Today would be a good day to end it. All we have to do is pass the common sense legislation the Senate is currently considering. Ending a government shutdown and continuing health care for children. There is nothing in this measure that my Democrat friends cannot support," said McConnell.

    McConnell noted however that the body can "resolve this much earlier" if Democrats withdraw a procedural objection and allow the Senate to proceed to a vote. McConnell said the immigration legislation attached to the spending bill was a "non-emergency" issue.

    "Our constituents want us to end this. Secretary Mattis, our military leaders, and our governors want us to end this, and we can. Today is the right day to do it," he added.

    12:05 p.m.: Durbin calls on Trump to "lead" during shutdown
    Democratic Whip Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois called on the president to "step up and lead us" out of the government shutdown. On "Face the Nation," Durbin said that he was "sorry" lawmakers were in the current situation, adding that Senate Democrats were working on a funding deal "on a bipartisan basis."

    12 p.m.: Mulvaney defends "cool" shutdown comments
    Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), defended comments he made on Sean Hannity's radio show Friday in which he said it was "kind of cool" to find out he was the person who technically shuts down the federal government. The OMB is responsible for overseeing shutdown procedures for federal agencies. He explained on "Face the Nation" that his comment was "interesting from an academic standpoint."

    He added that the administration has been "very straight forward since the beginning that we don't want this shutdown."

    10:42 a.m.: Ryan says House would support short-term spending deal
    On "Face the Nation," Ryan said the House would accept a proposed bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8 if the Senate is able to pass such a measure. The House passed a bill to extend funding until Feb. 16 which the Senate rejected, kicking off the shutdown.

    'What Leader McConnell is going to be offering is one that has a different date on it," Ryan told host John Dickerson. "We passed a bill keeping things funded until Feb. 16. He is going to bring up a bill keeping things funded until Feb. 8. We've agreed that we would accept that in the House. And so, we will see sometime today whether or not they have the votes for that. And that's really where we are right now."

    9:30 a.m.: Pence tells troops he's confident shutdown will be "fixed"
    While speaking to U.S. troops overseas during his visit to the Middle East on countering the Islamic State Group (ISIS), Vice President Mike Pence commented on the government shutdown, saying he was confident the administration was "going to get this fixed."

    "The minority in the Senate decided to play politics with military pay, you deserve better," he told the troops. "You shouldn't have to worry one minute about if you're going to be paid."

    Pence said that the administration won't negotiate a possible immigration deal with Democrats until "they give you and your families the wages you've earned."

    "President Trump and I will do whatever it takes to defend you and your families. You can be confident we're going to get this fixed. We're going to meet our obligations to you and your families," added Pence.

    8:25 a.m.: Sanders: Pentagon restores American Forces Network
    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the American Forces Network has resumed service for those overseas serving in the U.S. military ahead of Sunday's NFL conference championship games.

    The network provides TV and radio service to U.S. military members and their dependents stationed overseas, regularly broadcasting Sunday football games for fans in the military. The resource was deemed non-essential during the government shutdown and thus was subject to being turned off during the funding disputes.

    The network restored service after backlash on social media over servicemembers' inability to watch Sunday's games.

    Dana W. White, Chief DoD Spokesperson, said in a statement that "We will continue to find solutions to support our troops at home and abroad. Congress must come to a resolution, support our troops and pass a budget soon."

    White added, "he shutdown requires us to do a lot of tedious work. Congress needs to pass a budget."

    7:42 a.m.: Trump calls for nuclear option in Senate
    Hours before Congress is set to reconvene, Mr. Trump again blamed Democrats for the shutdown and called on the Senate to eliminate the 60-vote threshold with the so-called "nuclear option" to abolish the filibuster:


    However, even with a threshold of 51 votes, it's not guaranteed Republican leaders in the Senate would be able to achieve a simple majority, given their razor-thin margin in the upper chamber.

    CBS News' Alan He, Stefan Becket and Emily Tillett contributed to this report.



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