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US Senate postpones vote on ending shutdown to noon Monday

US Senate postpones vote on ending shutdown to noon Monday

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer emerged bruised from the three-day government shutdown, which is expected to end Monday after the Senate reached a compromise. "If there's going to be one, it'll be tonight". Hours later, he said, the White House walked away from a tentative agreement.

Chief of Staff John Kelly has spoken with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Democrats blocked a House-passed temporary funding bill to reopen the government through February 16. Last April, at the president's repeated urging, Senate Republicans deployed the nuclear option to clear the path for Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court pick, to be confirmed.

Calling it the "Trump Shutdown", the minority leader lambasted the President over not doing enough to strike a compromise.

Absent a breakthrough, the vote early Monday will prove to be a test of unity and resolve among Democrats.

The former SC congressman is also a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, which could give him influence over conservative lawmakers in selling any compromise that emerges.

"We have 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", Ryan said.

"Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown". He said the expired Children's Health Insurance Program and other government programs were of more immediate concern.

The shutdown dominated the Sunday political talk shows.

Meanwhile, Mr McConnell said that Mr Schumer "took the extraordinary step" of preventing the legislation from passing and thus "plunging the country into this totally avoidable mess".

Schumer, meanwhile, pinned blame for the shutdown on Republicans in general and the President foremost.

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For the first time since October 2013 - when a similar standoff that lasted 16 days kept only essential agency operations running - federal workers were being told to stay at home or in some cases to work without pay until new funding is approved. "I really think the pressure is on the president", he said. The President picked a number for a wall. There were no indications that a firm agreement had been reached, or that leaders of either party or the White House were on board. "We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands".

On that note, Trump had met with Schumer at the White House just hours ahead of the deadline for a government shutdown.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell on Saturday set a key vote for a funding measure for 1 am (0600 GMT) on Monday, with both houses of Congress set to reconvene on Sunday.

And he resumed his social media commentary early Sunday, tweeting that it was "Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border".

Senate Democrats want any government funding bill to include a provision to prevent the deportation of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children.

"Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.'s!"

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney addressed Trump's suggestion that McConnell invoke the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote threshold that's now needed to pass a short-term funding bill on Sunday. He noted that there are 51 Republicans in the 100-member Senate, and it often takes 60 votes to advance legislation.

"The President needs to pull up a chair and end this shutdown", he said. "We just want it to get fixed".

The vote to end debate on the spending bill came together quickly after Collins and several other senators said they wanted a firmer, more detailed commitment from McConnell.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, part of a bipartisan working group pushing for legislation to replace DACA, told reporters that McConnell was still six or seven Democratic votes short of breaking the impasse that led to the shutdown.


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