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The Latest: Government Shutdown Ends

by Countable | 1.22.18

President Donald Trump has signed the bill passed by Congress today to end the 69-hour government shutdown.

Both chambers of Congress were in session this weekend trying to reach a deal to reopen the government after enough Senate Democrats opposed a procedural vote on a stopgap funding bill that also extended CHIP for six years Friday night, causing a government shutdown. At issue was the lack of a comprehensive deal on a long-term budget and immigration reform.

Monday

Trump Signs the CR, Shutdown Ends: President Donald Trump has signed the legislation passed by Congress today to fund the government through February 8 and reauthorize CHIP for six years. With his signature, the 69-hour government shutdown of January 2018 is officially over.

House Passes the CR: The House is passed the CR on a bipartisan 266-150 vote with 221 Republicans and 45 Democrats voting to reopen the government. Of those opposed, 144 were Democrats and six were Republicans.

The bill now heads to President Donald Trump's desk to be signed into law.

House to Vote on CR Soon: The House is now expected to take up the Senate's CR between 5:15-6:15pm ET, and if passed it would go to President Donald Trump's desk to be signed into law.

Senate Passes the CR (With Back Pay): The Senate passed McConnell's CR on an 81-18 vote, with the same senators in opposition as the day's earlier cloture vote. The bill provides short-term gov't funding that runs through February 8, reauthorizes CHIP for six years, provides back pay to the military and furloughed federal workers, and delays several Obamacare taxes.

Senate Cuts Deal to Move Forward: Following news of a deal to bring legislation to the floor addressing the status of the so-called Dreamers by February 8, Senate Democrats have relented and will now join their Republican colleagues in voting to reopen the government.

The cloture vote to limit debate on McConnell's three-week CR passed on a bipartisan 81-18 vote, with 16 Democrats and two Republicans in opposition. The next step will be a vote to adopt and pass the amended CR, although it's not yet clear when that will be held.

If that passes, the House will then have to pass it before it can go to President Donald Trump's desk to be signed into law. House lawmakers are in DC and can be called to the floor for a vote at leadership's discretion.

Congress Returns: Both chambers of Congress will start their day at noon ET. The Senate is expected to take a procedural vote on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) amendment to the stopgap funding bill that would shorten the length of the CR to February 8 from February 16.

Sunday

Senate Ends Its Day: The Senate has adjourned until 10am Monday when it will be in a period of morning business until the procedural vote at noon.

Vote Delayed Until Tomorrow: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asked for unanimous consent to move the scheduled cloture vote on his three week CR up from 1am to 10pm ET tonight. That was denied by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) because an agreement acceptable to Democrats hasn't been reached.

The procedural vote, which will be subject to a 60 vote threshold will now occur Monday 12pm ET. If successful, that will setup a passage vote on a CR that funds the government through February 8. McConnell has also agteed that if the Senate doesn't reach a deal on immigration and border security, military spending, disaster relief, and healthcare by that date he will schedule votes on bills to address those issues.

Negotiations Continue, Procedural Vote Awaits: Senators are pressing ahead with negotiations to reopen the government after reaching side agreements on long-term government funding and immigration reform.

If a deal is struck, the Senate could take a procedural vote to limit debate on McConnell's CR to would fund the government through February 8 earlier than 1am ET tonight. That would require unanimous consent from the Senate, as under the chamber's rules the cloture motion wouldn't "ripen" (be available for a vote) until that time.

House Gavels In: The House began its session at 2pm ET. It's now in recess subject to the call of the chair, which means leadership could summon members to the floor at a time of their choosing.

More UC Requests Blocked: Several senators have asked for unanimous consent to consider amendments to provide for military pay and death benefits, back pay for federal workers, and permanently reauthorize CHIP that were all denied.

Senate Starts Its Day: The Senate is back in session as of 1pm ET, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaking on the floor. The floor will be open for other senators to speak after they finish their remarks.

Saturday

Congress Calls It a Night: After adopting the same day authority rule, the House voted unanimously to adjourn until 2pm ET tomorrow.

The Senate has also adjourned, and will return at 1pm ET Sunday.

House Gives Itself "Same Day" Authority: The House adopted a rule allowing it to consider an amended CR on the floor the same day it's introduced or received from the Senate — if one is passed. This authority is sometimes referred to as "martial law", and would extend through January 29 to give the House maximum flexibility to end the shutdown.

The rule was adopted on a 235-170 vote, with 222 Republicans and 13 Democrats voting in favor. Only one Republican joined the 169 Democrats who opposed it.

McConnell Blocked Again on CR: Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) once again requested unanimous consent to immediately bring up an amendment to the CR that would fund the government through February 8. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) objected, meaning that the Senate can't consider it until unanimous consent is granted or Monday at 1am ET — whichever comes first.

House Decorum Vote: The House held a vote on a question of decorum. GOP lawmakers brought a poster of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to the floor featuring a Schumer quote that "A government shutdown is the politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis" and used the phrase "Schumer Shutdown". Democrats objected that those actions violated House rules preventing members from disparaging their colleagues or the president.

The Chair of the House ruled that it did not violate House rules, which then prompted a vote on the matter. The House voted 224-173 to table the objection, thus allowing the poster and language to be used, with 218 Republicans and six Democrats voting in favor.

Congress Returns: The House gavelled in at 9am and is currently in "recess subject to the call of the chair", which basically means lawmakers are on standby and could be called to the floor at a time determined by leadership. It also is expected to use procedural tools so that it can bring up the CR for a vote the same day an amended version is received from the Senate.

The Senate began its day at noon ET, and senators are on the floor offering their thoughts on the situation.

McConnell Offers Shorter CR: After the cloture vote failed, Majority Leader McConnell offered an amendment to shorten the stopgap funding bill so that it’d run through February 8 instead of February 16. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Democrats in denied McConnell’s request for unanimous consent to consider the amendment immediately. Assuming no unanimous consent agreement is reached, the earliest the amendment can be considered is Monday at 1am ET.

White House Lays Down Marker: The White House released a statement saying that it will not continue negotiate on immigration issues while the government is shutdown:

"We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands… When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.”

Senate Vote Fails, Shutdown Begins: The cloture vote to limit debate closed at 12:36am ET and failed on a 50-49 vote, well short of the 60 votes needed — 44 Democrats were joined by four Republicans in opposing the short-term continuing resolution and CHIP extension. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also voted no so he could use Senate parliamentary rules to reconsider the vote at a later time.

Friday

CR Goes to Senate: Senators spent the day debating the stopgap funding bill and negotiating behind the scenes. A vote which began a little after 10pm ET remained open past the midnight deadline to fund the government.

Thursday

House Passes the CR: The House passed the CR on a 230-197 vote, with 224 Republicans being joined by six Democrats in voting to keep the government open and reauthorize CHIP.

The bill would keep the government open for four weeks while lawmakers negotiate deals on a long-term budget and immigration reform, in addition to reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, and delaying several taxes imposed by Obamacare.

Tell your reps what you think of the situation and what Congress should do to reopen the government using the Take Action button, then share your thoughts in the comments below!

— Eric Revell

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(Photo Credit: lucky-photographer / iStock)

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