Acrimony deepens after government shutdown's first day

Day one of the government shutdown ended with recriminations between the parties deepening and no sign of progress to...

Posted: Jan 21, 2018 10:07 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2018 10:07 PM

Day one of the government shutdown ended with recriminations between the parties deepening and no sign of progress towards ending the impasse.

The White House, Republican and Democratic leaders spent most of Saturday apportioning blame and flexing partisan muscles after the Democrats blocked a Senate bill to fund the government and the federal machine ran dry on cash at midnight on Friday.

A key Senate vote failed Friday night plunging the government into a shutdown

Democrats want a deal for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

While both the House and Senate were in session Saturday, there was little sign of an opening, as leaders who will eventually have to talk to one another to resolve the showdown stayed in their corners.

"Everyone's dug in. No movement at all from either side," said a Democratic aide.

President Donald Trump had been hoping to be the star of the show at a glitzy fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida Saturday celebrating the anniversary of his inauguration. But he was forced to stay in Washington.

"There shouldn't be a shutdown, but there is," Trump said in a video recorded for showing at the event, according to a person who saw the footage. "It's caused by the Democrats. But we're gonna end up winning another victory."

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pinned the blame directly on the President, implying that he was falling well short of his "Art of the Deal" reputation and was being led astray by hardline White House aides, Hill Republicans and conservative media.

"Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O, it is next to impossible," Schumer told reporters. "The President needs to pull up a chair to end this shutdown."

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned "the solution is to end the foolishness. It's hurting millions of Americans who have done absolutely nothing to deserve this."

By the end of the night, McConnell warned that the Senate would vote on a three-week stopgap spending measure at 1 a.m. Monday unless Democrats agreed to move up the vote.

Most of the energy on both sides Saturday was devoted to key players branding the impasse either the "Trump shutdown" or the" Schumer shutdown." And for all the posturing, sources told CNN that Schumer and McConnell had not spoken since their interactions on the Senate floor in the dramatic early moments of Saturday. A Democratic source said there had been no conversations between the top Democrat and anyone in the White House on Saturday. Both sides appeared to be waiting for the other to make the first move.

Republicans are resolute: No talks on DACA, the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, until Democrats give them enough votes to reopen the government. Democrats, meanwhile, say they have to have an answer on extending protection to nearly 700,000 people brought to the US illegally as children who face deportation after early March.

"It is kind of hard to understand. When you're holding our troops hostage and essentially denying services to law-abiding Americans and denying funding to our border agents, how you can negotiate on DACA during that?" Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director asked. "I think the administration's position is that as soon as they reopen the government, we'll resume negotiations on DACA, but it's hard to negotiate on that while they're keeping our border agents unpaid, keeping our troops unpaid, and not paying for American services."

RELATED: Shutdown drama shows Washington's failure to lead

GOP leaders see how much support there is for a three-week extension

The Senate and the House will come back into session on Sunday afternoon.

For now, the only possible off ramp is a three-week spending bill to fund the government until February 8 that most Democrats are not willing to embrace.

McConnell, who spoke with Trump on Saturday morning, said Friday night he was open to the proposal.

But Republican support is only half the battle: The Senate needs 60 votes to pass the continuing resolution, and Republicans only control 51 seats.

And Democrats are adamant that they will not allow the bill to proceed until it deals with the issue of DACA, even though most lawmakers on both sides agree on most things in the legislation, including an extension of a children's health program, and most do not want the government to remain closed.

"There is nothing in this bill Democrats say they object to. Yet it's like a 2-year-old's temper tantrum to say, I am going to take my toys and go home because I'm upset about something else," Short said.

Schumer said that he left a meeting with Trump on Friday afternoon hopeful that a deal could be reached after reluctantly suggesting concessions on Trump's plan for a border wall in return for action on DACA recipients. But he accused the President of walking back on an agreement under pressure from right-wing members of his own administration.

But White House budget director Mick Mulvaney disputed the claim that Schumer's offer met Trump's demands

"Mr. Schumer has to up his game and be more honest with the President of the United States if we are going to be seeing progress," he said.

What's at stake

The dramatic shutdown marked the finale of a game of chicken that's been waged for months between Republicans and Democrats. While budget negotiations have worked through a number of sticking points, including domestic versus defense spending caps, children's health insurance and disaster relief, both sides have dug in deeper over immigration -- convinced the other side would blink..

For Republicans, it was essential to isolate immigration as an issue, with the hope of gaining more leverage by dragging it closer to a March deadline on DACA and forcing Democrats to give up their budget negotiating power in fear of the ramifications of a shutdown perceived as just about immigration.

For Democrats, the focus was on keeping immigration as part of the fabric of issues, showing the base it wasn't an issue that could be jettisoned for convenience and maintaining negotiating leverage.

Both sides were convinced for months their side was the stronger position.

But at the deadline, neither blinked.

Blame game

House Republicans were emphatic: This one isn't their fault.

"It's the hashtag Schumer Shutdown. Period," Rep. Billy Long, a Republican from Missouri.

Still, members were irritated Saturday morning as they gathered for their morning conference meeting. California Republican Darrell Issa described the mood as "not good."

During a Republican conference meeting, Long told reporters that Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri told her fellow members about how she had a new 2-day-old grandchild she was ready to see and that she was worried about the military not getting their paychecks.

Moderate New Jersey Republican Tom MacArthur blasted: "I think this is extremely irresponsible."

Republicans feel confident that they're on the right side of the shutdown. While House Republicans were the ones who failed to deliver the votes when the government shut down in 2013, this time around members say they want their leadership to stand firm against Senate Democrats who they believe will feel the pressure sooner or later.

Huntsville
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 56°
Florence
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Fayetteville
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 57°
Scottsboro
Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 62°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

 

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530988

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765291522
Mobile40971804
Madison34751503
Tuscaloosa25775452
Montgomery24329589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21131308
Lee15884171
Calhoun14501314
Morgan14293279
Etowah13831353
Marshall12222223
Houston10567281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9960151
Cullman9664193
St. Clair9655243
Lauderdale9424241
DeKalb8830186
Talladega8223176
Walker7235277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6810112
Blount6660137
Colbert6298134
Coffee5511119
Dale4831111
Russell441138
Chilton4290112
Franklin425782
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4027152
Escambia393376
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3118101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva249977
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212362
Henry188744
Cherokee184845
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159150
Clay156256
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852841

Reported Deaths: 12255
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby956561619
Davidson89355933
Knox50675635
Hamilton44280494
Rutherford43046434
Williamson28015217
Sumner24012349
Montgomery20255225
Wilson18804234
Out of TN1840797
Unassigned16998134
Sullivan16794294
Blount15490193
Bradley15032150
Washington14597245
Maury13499172
Sevier13391175
Putnam11396175
Madison11168242
Robertson9756131
Anderson8760172
Hamblen8610173
Greene7877155
Tipton7359103
Coffee6905121
Dickson6840110
Cumberland6734132
Carter6634158
Gibson6526146
McMinn650898
Bedford6506128
Roane6282105
Jefferson6211124
Loudon613069
Hawkins6077107
Lawrence593887
Monroe584095
Warren554881
Dyer5425106
Franklin515090
Fayette506877
Cheatham455355
Obion454196
Cocke450099
Lincoln435763
Rhea434875
Marshall419058
Campbell415463
Weakley412865
Giles3996100
Henderson378976
White364170
Macon361978
Carroll361683
Hardin357167
Hardeman352664
Lauderdale318944
Henry318576
Claiborne318273
Marion312347
Scott312345
Overton301161
Wayne296334
Hickman284046
McNairy282054
DeKalb279654
Smith277839
Haywood271162
Grainger262850
Morgan250139
Trousdale250122
Fentress241547
Johnson240739
Chester214351
Bledsoe214211
Polk207824
Unicoi203549
Crockett203248
Cannon192031
Union190734
Humphreys179927
Grundy179334
Lake170326
Sequatchie169829
Benton166540
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
Meigs139125
Stewart132528
Jackson132036
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101117
Van Buren84723
Pickett76024
Hancock58912

Community Events