It Was A Done Deal, The Government Will Shutdown At Midnight

The House has adjourned and representatives have gone home for Christmas.

This means at minimum a partial government shutdown is assured, The Washington Post reported.

Breaking news: House lawmakers left the Capitol Friday night without passing a budget agreement, ensuring funding for several key government agencies will lapse at midnight.

The partial shutdown comes amid an impasse between President Trump and Democrats over billions in federal funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This story will be updated.

White House officials and congressional leaders were in last-minute discussions Friday in search of a deal that would avert a partial government shutdown set to start at midnight.

The Senate narrowly passed a procedural vote in the evening the Republican and Democratic leaders said preserved the possibility of a compromise, though no agreement has yet been reached.

Spending for a number of federal agencies, impacting hundreds of thousands of federal employees, expires at midnight. But negotiations remained extremely fluid, and it was unclear if any spending measure would be able to resolve intense disagreements about whether to fund 215 miles of wall along the Mexico border.

“I hope Senate Democrats will work with the White House on an agreement that can pass both houses of Congress and then receive the president’s signature,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told other lawmakers after the vote passed 48-47, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats were open to discussions with the White House and Republicans, but would not agree to any measure that funded the new construction of a border wall.

The talks could prove to be the final legislative effort before funding lapses at midnight. Other federal agencies would not be impacted, including the Pentagon, because their budgets were approved earlier in the year. But a number of other agencies, including those that oversee homeland security, law enforcement, tax collection, and transportation, would have to halt certain operations.

Trump and Schumer had dug in after the president reversed course Thursday morning and renewed his demand for taxpayer money to build the wall. But there were signs of a late thaw on Friday, when McConnell, Democrats, and Vice President Mike Pence began huddling separately in the Capitol.

Pence separately joined Trump adviser Jared Kushner and White House budget Director Mick Mulvaney for a meeting with House conservatives.

The construction of a wall along the Mexico border was one of Trump’s top campaign promises in 2016, and he had promised that Mexico would finance the entire project. But since taking office, he has demanded the money come from Congress, and Senate Democrats have easily blocked every attempt.

In recent days, Trump has tried a number of different tactics to try and secure the money. He called on cabinet secretaries to search their budgets for extra money, and on Wednesday he pronounced the entire project would be funded by the military. But by Thursday he was back to demanding that the money come from U.S. taxpayers, leaving many GOP lawmakers scrambling to accede to his demands.

Trump sees the final days of 2018 as his last, best chance to secure the funding, because Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in 2018.

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