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If There Is A Government Shutdown, Who Is To Blame?

19 January 2018

Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday evening.

Here's the reality: Senior GOP aides in both chambers say Senate Republican leaders have no plan to move off their insistence that the House-passed bill is the only way forward - and they are queuing up a series of painful political votes for in-cycle Democrats.

It's a push that the White House and Republicans say they would back if it's coupled with tough border security measures and other restrictions.

They are Maggie Hassan, N.H., Martin Heinrich, N.M., Tim Kaine, Va., Angus King, I-Maine, Patrick Leahy, Vt., Jeanne Shaheen, N.H., Jon Tester, Mont., Tom Udall, N.M., and Mark Warner, Va. The Republicans were pointing fingers at Democratic demands on DACA, protection for immigrants brought here illegally as children.

But the fate of the measure is uncertain in the Senate where at least six Republican senators have come out against the measure and Democrats are confident they can block it from advancing.

But it is unclear if there are enough votes to pass it in either the House or Senate.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Schumer to avoid a government shutdown, saying: "It is risky".

Van Hollen also said Trump, not the Democrats, will shoulder the blame if a shutdown occurs. Jon Tester (D-MT) told reporters, promising to vote against the bill.

McConnell claimed Schumer is "holding the entire country" hostage over a DACA bill that hasn't been written yet, casting those who vote against the House's continuing resolution as unpatriotic.

A growing number of lawmakers said they opposed the deal - not over immigration, but because they are exhausted of passing stopgap measures - and demanded that negotiations continue on a longer-term spending bill.

"Budget dysfunction is hurting our country and my Commonwealth", Mr. Kaine tweeted.

President Donald Trump heaped pressure on Democrats Friday to yield in an acrimonious budget showdown that threatens to shut down the U.S. government when money runs out at midnight - a year to the day after the Republican president took office. "No, no", he told reporters. It would, though, mean furloughs for some federal employees - including some civilian defense workers. He said the previous administration "weaponized" the government shutdown in budget negotiations and did not encourage agencies to lessen the impact with unobligated funds.

"Shutdown coming?" Trump tweeted as the day began, seeming to revel in the chaotic, high-stakes brinksmanship unfolding on Capitol Hill.

McConnell warned GOP senators in an email obtained by The Associated Press that voting against the measure "plays right into Democrats hand" - presumably because it would dilute the argument that Democrats killed the legislation.

Trump's unpredictable Twitter outbursts and sudden changes of position also have bedeviled Republican leaders as they maneuver to cut a deal.

".@realDonaldTrump created a crisis on #DACA and destroyed a bipartisan solution". "We can not ignore our commitments".

A shutdown would be the first since 2013, when tea party Republicans - in a strategy not unlike the one Schumer is employing now - sought to use a must-pass funding bill to try to force then-President Barack Obama into delaying implementation of his marquee health care law.

Congress has been relying on short-term spending bills to support vital programs since government funding ran out 110 days ago. "This has turned into an s-show for no good reason".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of those senators who said he'd oppose the spending measure.