Senate Republicans plan Monday 1 a.m. vote to end government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to his office after speaking on the senate floor Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The Senate is on track to vote on a measure to end the government shutdown early on Monday unless Democrats agree to hold the vote sooner.

On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Democrats to lift their filibuster and allow a vote to reopen the government forthwith. The minority party objected and Democrats say they have the votes to block the bill on Monday.

"If they continue to object, we cannot proceed to a cloture vote until 1 a.m. on Monday," McConnell explained from the floor of the Senate. "But I assure you, we will have a vote at 1 a.m. on Monday, unless there is a desire to have it sooner."

As a result of the Democratic filibuster on Friday night, which led to the government shutdown, the latest time a vote can take place is Monday at 1 a.m. EST.

The most recent Republican proposal would reopen the government and provide funding for three weeks, through February 8.

McConnell lashed out at Democrats for creating a "totally manufactured crisis" urging them to allow a vote to reopen the government "to end the craziness today."

The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer has argued that the Republicans and Donald Trump created the impasse, labeling the disaster "the Trump Shutdown."

The Senate will reconvene again on Sunday, according to McConnell, who said he would keep the body in session "for as long as it takes" to end the shutdown.

The normally non-controversial short-term government spending bill went off the rails when Republicans and the White House refused Democrats' demands to include protection for immigrants under the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program.

The White House is now claiming that the shutdown shows Democrats are "far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border." Trump tweeted, "They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead."

The government shutdown could mean that active-duty servicemembers do not receive pay, if the budget impasse continues through February. Other federal employees can expect to work without pay during the shutdown, while non-essential civilian workers will be furloughed.

The shutdown will also postpone renewal of the federal children's health care program, CHIP. Some states ran out of CHIP funding on January 19.

Senate Democrats say they want to provide enough money to keep agency doors open only a few days. They say the shorter time frame puts more pressure on Republicans to cut deals on immigration and the budget.

The shutdown began at midnight Friday. The public won't feel its full effects until the next work week begins Monday.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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