Government officially enters partial shutdown as Congress misses funding deadline — live updates

By Kathryn Watson, Grace Segers

/ CBS News

The government partially shut down Saturday at midnight after the House and Senate failed to pass a spending bill. President Trump had insisted he would not sign any spending bill that did not include $5 billion for the border wall.

The partial shutdown won't have much effect on your holiday plans. The post office will stay open, so gift and holiday card stragglers can still put them in the mail. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents would still work, and air travel would continue virtually unaffected.

Government employees who are considered "essential," such as Secret Service agents and Customs and Border Patrol agents and U.S. troops deployed at the border, would still be working. They will eventually get paid for the days they worked during the shutdown, but they won't be paid until after it ends.

Funding that expired at midnight Saturday covers the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Departure of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among some other federal entities.

The Office of Management and Budget — the office still run by incoming acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — has issued guidance to each agency and each agency would develop its own shutdown plan. Federal agencies must halt all "non-essential" discretionary work and so-called non-essential employees must stay home until new funding legislation is signed into law.

Trump says shutdown will last a "very long time"

Mr. Trump tweeted a shutdown could last a "long time" if it happens.

But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders offered no details Friday morning as to how long a "very long time" could be."

The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don't want Open Borders and Crime!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018

Unclear if the president has an alternative plan

If and when the Senate does vote down the short-term spending bill, it's unclear what will come next.

Mr. Trump tweeted that if the Senate doesn't vote for the bill, there will be a shutdown. But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was unable to answer when asked repeatedly by CBS News whether the president has an alternative plan.

Senate expected to vote around noon

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill the House passed the night before around noon. The House passed the bill 217-185.

The bill the Senate will be voting on is a short-term spending bill that would fund the government into early February, with $5 billion to fund the president's border wall and $8 billion for disaster relief.

Trump wants McConnell to go for the "nuclear option"

Mr. Trump tweeted he wants Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to go for the "nuclear option" in the Senate, meaning he wants the majority leader to lower the threshold needed to pass a spending bill from 60 votes to a simple majority.

But McConnell has refused to do so multiple times in the past, because he knows Democrats could and likely will control the Senate again one day in the future — and that would be a disaster for Republicans.

Plus, McConnell would need at least 50 Republican senators to make the so-called nuclear option possible. He can't do it alone.

Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018

GOP senators to meet with Trump at White House

Republican senators are heading to the White House to meet with President Trump at 10:30 a.m. Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed in a tweet.

President Trump will meet with Senate Republicans this morning at 10:30am to discuss the Funding Bill and the importance of Border Security," she wrote.

It's unclear yet which senators will be in attendance.

Trump claims Democrats "now own" shutdown, despite previously taking credit for it

Mr. Trump tweeted Friday morning that Democrats "now own" the shutdown.

That's despite repeatedly saying last week, in and following a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that he would not blame them in the event of a shutdown.

The Democrats now own the shutdown!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018

Last week, Mr. Trump had a very different tone with the Democrats.

"You want to know something? I'll tell you what: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck," the president said at the time.

"I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down — I'm not going to blame you for it."

Trump puts blame on Democrats for possible shutdown

Many National Parks to remain open

The National Parks will remain "as accessible as possible," according to National Park Service Chief Spokesperson Jeremy Barnum.

But that doesn't they will be fully accessible.

"In the event of a government shutdown national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures," Barnum said. "For example, this means that roads that have already been open will remain open (think snow removal) and vault toilets (wilderness type restrooms) will remain open. However services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds and full service restrooms, will not be operating."

Whatever happens, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced earlier in the day that the Grand Canyon will remain open to the public. That includes trails, shuttles, and restrooms, according to a plan Ducey's office says he put in place.

"Regardless of what happens in Washington, the Grand Canyon will not close on our watch," Ducey said. "Arizona knows how to work together. We have a plan in place and we're ready to go. If you have plans to visit the Grand Canyon over the weekend, keep 'em. The Grand Canyon will remain open."

Republican senators reject "nuclear" option

To invoke the "nuclear" option, which McConnell has rejected in the past, he would need at least 50 GOP senators to vote with him. But Republicans began voicing their opposition to a "nuclear" option Friday morning, dimming the president's hopes of passing his wall funding with that route.

"The Leader has said for years that the votes are not there in the Conference to use the nuclear option. Just this morning, several Senators put out statements confirming their opposition, and confirming that there is not a majority in the conference to go down that road," McConnell spokesperson Don Stewart said in a statement.

Here's what would happen to each agency


The Smithsonian will send out an update with details about their museums and the National Zoo. This includes info about the Panda Cams and Zoo Lights – more detail will be provided.

National Mall:

The National Mall is open at this time. In the event of a shutdown they will send out an update with more information.


The Transportation Security Administration will be operating as normal, at least, as far as travelers can be concerned.

Department of Transportation:

If there is a shutdown, air traffic control will continue.

— Reporting by CBS News' Clare Hymes

"We're totally prepared for a very long shutdown," Trump says

Mr. Trump, speaking at a criminal justice bill signing, said he had a "great meeting" with Republican senators.

The president said it's "totally up to the Democrats" as to whether the government shuts down, noting that it's quite possible the bill the Senate is taking up Friday will fail.

"Now it's up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown tonight," the president said, adding he hopes there won't be a shutdown but is prepared to ride it out in the event of one.

"We're totally prepared for a very long shutdown," the president said, noting now may be the only opportunity they have.

Senate voting on whether to move ahead with funding bill

The Senate is voting whether to move forward with the funding bill passed by the House. But it's slow going, since many senators had already left town and were summoned to return on Thursday.

If the Senate fails to garner enough votes to even move forward with the bill, it's unclear what happens next.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and other Republicans had a "good conversation about the way forward, we're going to be continuing to talk this afternoon. Right now I'm going to go open the Senate and begin to move forward with the process on the House-passed bill."

Grassley says there was "no conclusion" from meeting with Trump

GOP senators spoke with reporters upon their return from the White House, and they weren't optimistic.

"I was in an hour discussion on that and there was no conclusion," Sen. Chuck Grassley told reporters.

Asked what's next if the current bill fails in the Senate, Sen. Jeff Flake responded, "I don't know, I didn't start this dance."

Sen. Richard Shelby said he does think the president is open to negotiations, and he believes the president won't accept a deal without wall funding, but the price tag may be negotiable. The $1.6 billion figure floated previously was also raised in the meeting with Mr. Trump. Shelby said he thinks the president wants to avoid a shutdown.

— Reporting by CBS News' Bo Erickson

Trump open to negotiating dollar amount for wall, source says

President Trump has told Sen. David Perdue he is willing to negotiate on the amount of funding for the border wall, a source familiar tells CBS News' Bo Erickson.

The president and the Georgia Republican have spoken a few times since the morning meeting at the White House, the source said. The relationship between Mr. Trump and Perdue dates back years, and Mr. Trump trusts Perdue due to his past as a businessman and CEO.

Pence, Mulvaney and Kushner arrive on the Hill

Vice President Mike Pence, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and Trump son-in-law and senior adviser have arrived on Capitol Hill, CBS News' Bo Erickson reports.

The three men walked into Pence's Capitol Hill office and did not answer questions.

Pence, Mulvaney and Kushner meet with Schumer

Vice President Mike Pence, Office of Management and Budget Director and incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after arriving on the Hill. The meeting was requested by the Trump administration, according to a spokesperson for Schumer.

"Leader Schumer reminded them that any proposal with funding for the wall will not pass the Senate and that two proposals that leader Pelosi and he offered the president in the Oval Office last week are still on the table, as is Leader McConnell's proposal that the Senate unanimously passed two nights (ago) and could pass the House and avoid a shutdown if the president signaled he would sign it," the statement from Schumer's office said.

If the vote to proceed the House bill to the Senate floor fails, then the House would have to choose to pass the original government funding bill passed by the Senate which provides $1.6 billion to border security. However, Mr. Trump could still veto that bill, plunging the government into a partial shutdown.

— Reporting by CBS News' Grace Segers

Corker says there is a Senate deal

CBS News' Bo Erickson confirmed that Republican Sen. Bob Corker told reporters there is an agreement between McConnell and Schumer on what happens next if the Senate moves to advance the House continuing resolution. Corker said it will be announced on the floor shortly, but did not say what the deal was.

Senate allows House bill to proceed

The Senate has voted to allow the House continuing resolution to proceed. The 47-47 tie was broken by Vice President Mike Pence.

No deal reached, as senators keep working towards one

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the Senate floor to share that there is no deal, and there won't be further voting until there is one — making a shutdown seem all-but inevitable.

"I hope Senate Democrats will work with the White House on an agreement that will pass both houses of Congress and receive the president's signature," McConnell said. "Colleagues, when an agreement is reached, it will be voted on the Senate floor."

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke after McConnell. He said that he was willing to continue work with the president and leaders in the House.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker then took the floor, thanking the two Senate leaders for agreeing to negotiate.

"We're not voting on anything else in this chamber, relative to this issue, until a global agreement is reached," Corker said.

In short, the Senate will not vote on any measure until a universal deal is agreed upon.

Trump tweets picture of himself with bills, complains about Democrats

President Trump tweeted out a photo of himself with an assortment of what he said are bills he's signing while he waits for Democrats to vote for border security.

The president pointed out that he canceled his trip on Air Force One to Florida in the meantime.

Some of the many Bills that I am signing in the Oval Office right now. Cancelled my trip on Air Force One to Florida while we wait to see if the Democrats will help us to protect America's Southern Border!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018

House adjourns, teeing up shutdown

The House officially adjourned just before 7 p.m., teeing up a shutdown. The House will not return until noon Saturday.

Here are the agencies affected

The following agencies will partly close down at midnight:

Senators told they can leave the Capitol

CBS News' Nancy Cordes reports that senators have been told that they may leave Washington. If a deal is reached between the president and congressional leaders, the Senate would first try to pass it by voice vote or unanimous consent so everyone doesn't have to come back to the Capitol.

If a roll call vote is needed, senators would be given 24 hours notice to get back. They've been told to use "discretion" when deciding whether to get on a plane — in other words, not to fly to Hawaii or other far-flung states if senators don't think they can get back in time.

Melania and Barron arrive at Mar-a-Lago

While President Trump's travel plans are still undecided, first lady Melania Trump and 12-year-old Barron arrived at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Melania Trump's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement that "it has long been the family's tradition to spend their Christmas holiday at Mar-a-Lago. Her plans to travel with her son to their Florida home for his winter break have not changed this year."

Mr. Trump had initially planned to leave Friday for a 16-day trip to Mar-a-Lago, but those plans were changed amid the threat of the governement shutdown. Now his depature is unclear.

Senate adjourns without a deal

Hours after the House ended its session, the Senate adjourned with a deal, meaning the partial shutdown will start at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Vice President Mike Pence, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and special adviser Jared Kushner were seen exiting the Capitol at 8:39 p.m.

CBS News' Ed O'Keefe reports that Washington is poised to endure a longer-than-comfortable stalemate — not resolving until later next week at the earliest. There are no signs of a Christmas miracle arriving before Tuesday.

Mulvaney instructs agencies "to execute plans for an orderly shutdown"

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney is instructing agenices "to execute plans for an orderly shutdown," the Associated Press reports.

In a memo for government executives, Mulvaney wrote that they are "hoperful" the "lapse in appropriations will be of short duration." But employees should report to work when scheduled to "undertake orderly shutdown activities."

Mulvaney was seen exiting the Capitol on Friday around 8:30 p.m.

Partial government shutdown begins

The government is officially in a partial government shutdown.

First published on December 22, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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