President Donald Trump says the government is prepared for a shutdown, with the Senate likely to vote down a House-passed bill to keep it open.
Nikole Killion reported from Capitol Hill where lawmakers are working to hash out a deal before midnight.
“Now it’s up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown tonight,” said President Trump. “I hope we don’t. But we’re totally prepared for a very long shutdown.”
As the federal government inches closer to a partial shutdown after midnight, President Trump is blaming Democrats, one week after he said he would be proud to shut down the government for border security.
“President Trump, you own the shutdown. You said so in your own words,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
The Senate is set to vote on the House-passed measure which gives $5 billion for the border wall and $8 billion in disaster assistance, but first, the chamber must allow the bill to come to the floor. That vote is currently open for members still traveling back to Washington.
After meeting with the President this morning, Senate Republican leaders urged their colleagues to support the bill.
“Let’s pass it. Let’s finish our work for this year. Let’s secure our country,” said Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.
Any funding bill would need 60-vote majority to pass the Senate, which is not possible without support from Democrats — who oppose money for the wall.
“If you’re saying, the offer I’m gonna make to you is I will avoid punishing 800,000 federal employees, I do not negotiate with bullies,” said Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
President Trump urged leader Mitch McConnell to use the so-called nuclear option to pass the bill with a 51-vote majority. But several Republicans said they would not support such a move.
Senator Richard Shelby, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, told reporters he is trying to find a compromise between the democrats’ past offer of a little over $1 billion in border security funding, with the President’s demand of $5 billion.