The Government Shut Downs After Failed Vote

A procedural vote to proceed with a spending bill failed late Friday night.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

The federal government shut down at midnight Saturday, following the failure of last-minute budget negotiations to create a stopgap solution to protect the nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. The nail-biting showdown coincides with the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration—a milestone Democrats are portraying as a glaring failure of leadership, given that Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress but were unable to muster the votes to pass the bill.

A critical procedural vote needed for the motion to proceed failed around 10:30 p.m. All but five Democrats appeared to vote “No”, joined by four Republicans: Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Lindsay Graham (S.C.).

Republicans, though, are doing their best to sidestep blame, claiming Democrats are holding government hostage to their demands. Earlier on Friday, OMB director Mick Mulvaney said the White House was preparing for “what we’re calling the ‘Schumer shutdown.’”

As Mother Jones’ Kara Voght reports, only about half of federal agencies have publicly shared up-to-date contingency plans in the event of a shutdown. So many people could be screwed by the shutdown—including the president himself, whose social life took a hit Friday night when, with an agreement unsecured, he canceled his trip to Mar-a-Lago. It remains to be seen if he’ll resume his plans to celebrate one year in office Saturday with a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser at the resort.