The Senate rejected competing Republican and Democratic plans Thursday to end the partial government shutdown, now in its 34th day. The Republican bill included funding for President Trump’s border wall while the Democratic plan did not.
Both measures failed to win the 60 votes needed to move forward. But some lawmakers and analysts have expressed hope that the exercise could lead to more serious talks about a compromise.
The votes follow a dramatic day in which Trump agreed to postpone his State of the Union address after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) disinvited him from making the speech next week in the House chamber.
7:30 p.m.: ‘We’re still talking,’ McConnell says
As he left the Capitol Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters not to “misinterpret” his departure as a bad sign for talks on ending the partial government shutdown.
“We’re still talking. We’re talking,” McConnell said.
Asked whether any progress had been made, he responded, “Well, we’re, at least we’re talking and I think that’s better than it was before.”
6:40 p.m.: Latino leaders lobby for permanent legal status for ‘dreamers’
At the White House on Thursday, senior adviser Jared Kushner met with several Latino leaders who lobbied for the president to sweeten his offer to Democrats by including permanent legal status, and possibly a path to citizenship, for young immigrants known as “dreamers.”
Over the weekend, Trump had proposed a three-year extension of a deferred action program that has provided work permits to 700,000 dreamers.
Kushner responded that “permanency would receive full consideration,” said Daniel Garza, the executive director of the LIBRE Initiative, a group funded by Charles and David Koch, prominent GOP fundraisers who support the dreamers.
But Kushner emphasized that Pelosi had not made a counter-offer to Trump. He reminded the group that Trump had publicly supported a path to citizenship for dreamers last year as part of an immigration framework that also included hard-line enforcement measures, including a border wall and cuts to legal immigration.
Kushner also suggested that Trump would be willing to take the heat from conservatives on a broader deal similar to the one that Democrats had offered last year — $25 billion for the wall in exchange for a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million dreamers, according to people in the meeting. Trump had rejected that deal last year amid an outcry from border hawks.
But Kushner also said the talks have bogged down. “The one thing that he did confirm is he has been trying to reach out to the Democrats to unblock the shutdown and that everybody is dug in — the president is dug in, and Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader Charles E.] Schumer are dug in,” said Ramiro Cavazos, president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
5:40 p.m.: Trump says he would support a ‘reasonable’ McConnell-Schumer deal; Pelosi says ‘down payment’ on wall is unacceptable
In remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump signaled that he would be open to supporting a potential deal negotiated between Schumer and McConnell.
“If they come to a reasonable agreement, I would support it, yes,” Trump said. He added that he has “other alternatives” on the issue of border wall funding, although he did not elaborate.
Pelosi told reporters soon after that a deal that involves a “down payment” on the wall would not be acceptable.
“The president just said that if they come to a reasonable agreement he will support it. I hope that that doesn’t mean some big down payment for the wall,” Pelosi said at the Capitol.
“I don’t know if he knows what he’s talking about. Do you?” she added.
4:35 p.m.: White House says it wants ‘down payment’ on border wall
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump would support a short-term funding bill only if it includes a “down payment” on the border wall — something Pelosi has already said is a non-starter.
Her statement came after McConnell and Schumer met to discuss possible paths forward on reopening the government.
“Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Charles E. Schumer are meeting now to see whether they can work out of the deadlock,” Sanders said. “As was made clear to Senator Lindsay Graham, the three-week CR would only work if there is a large down payment on the wall.”
As he exited McConnell’s office, Schumer declined to offer specifics, saying repeatedly “we’re talking” when asked about the discussion.
Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally who spoke with the president by phone Thursday afternoon, echoed the White House’s “down payment” language in a statement.
“The way forward is clear to me: a three-week continuing resolution (CR) that includes a down payment on wall/barrier funding and priorities of Democrats for disaster relief, showing good faith from both sides,” Graham said. “I strongly urge my Democratic colleagues to work with the White House on a three-week CR that includes a down payment on wall/barrier funding consistent with DHS priorities.”
4 p.m.: Schumer and McConnell to meet Thursday afternoon
McConnell and Schumer are expected to meet Thursday afternoon, according to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
The meeting comes as the path forward remains unclear after the failed Senate votes. Some lawmakers called for both parties to come together and work toward a deal on reopening the government.
“I would urge all of our colleagues — now that we’ve had these two failed votes, we know we’re right where we started when we got here today — that we work together to try to bridge our differences to build consensus and end this shutdown,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said on the floor.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said it was “clear” that the shutdown needs to end and urged for the passage of a three-week funding bill.
3:35 p.m.: Democrats’ bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8 fails in Senate
In its second vote of the day, the Senate rejected a Democratic bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8.
The measure failed on a 52-to-44 vote. A half-dozen Republicans, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah), defied Trump, voting with Democrats in favor of the measure.
The proposal included no additional money for border security or any other government function. Instead, it would have opened the government under prior funding levels, to allow for further negotiations while also providing $14 billion in unrelated disaster-relief funding.
Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee who has had a hot-and-cold relationship with the president, explained his vote for both measures in an exchange with reporters. He said he voted for the Democratic measure “because I want to get the government open again.”
“And my priority is get the government open again, get people back to work, and provide for border security. Both of those are critical to me,” he said.
3:20 p.m.: Senate rejects Trump’s plan to end shutdown with $5.7 billion in funding for wall
The Senate rejected Trump’s proposal to end the shutdown, which included $5.7 billion in border wall funding and temporary protections for some immigrants.
The measure failed on a 50-to-47 vote, with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) crossing party lines to vote against the measure and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) joining most Republicans in voting yes.
The bill also called for funding for 750 more Border Patrol agents, 375 additional Customs and Border Protection officers and 2,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and support staffers.
The action marked the first time that the Senate has voted this year on reopening the government. The partial shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, is in its 34th day.
In a statement, Lee said, “If this had been a vote to begin debate on a deal to end the shutdown, I would have happily voted yes. But this was a vote to end debate on a bill that I believe is fundamentally flawed.”
“This bill as is simply does not do enough to reform our immigration system or address the crisis at our southern border,” he said.
2 p.m.: Bennet decries shutdown, Cruz in emotional floor speech
Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), his voice rising to a scream at times, delivered a fiery speech on the Senate floor in which he lashed out at Trump as well as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).
“I don’t even know what day it is anymore of this record-long shutdown,” Bennet said at one point. “But the pretext for it is an invention. It’s a creation of something in the president’s mind.”
Bennet lamented Congress’s 9 percent approval rating. He said it was “ludicrous” that the government is currently shut down “over a promise the president of the United States couldn’t keep, and that America is not interested in having him keep” — a border wall funded by Mexico.
He also took aim at Cruz, whose “crocodile tears” over furloughed workers, he said, were “too hard for me to take.”
“When the senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded,” Bennet said, his voice rising to a bellow. “It was underwater. People were killed. People’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever. And because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down, for politics.”
“Then he surfed to a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses,” Bennet added wryly of the Texas Republican.
Cruz was instrumental in helping to prompt the 2013 shutdown, although he has repeatedly argued that Democrats were the ones to blame.
The shutdown helped to propel Cruz to fame among many in the conservative base. But it also earned him sharp rebukes from members of his own party in Congress.
In a floor speech after Bennet, Cruz responded that the Colorado Democrat “spent a great deal of time yelling” but that his criticism was off-base.
“If you have the facts, you bang the facts. If you have the law, you bang the law. If you don’t have either, you bang the table,” Cruz said.
1:58 p.m.: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says Trump, Pelosi are acting like ‘a bunch of 2-year-olds’
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) compared President Trump and congressional leaders to “a bunch of 2-year-olds” on Thursday and said they should stop playing “stupid political games” amid the longest-ever partial closure of the federal government.
“It’s crazy. ‘If I don’t get my wall, I’m going to shut down the government.’ ‘If we don’t open the government, you can’t speak in our chamber,’ ” Hogan said, mocking the postures the president and Pelosi have taken.
“It’s a bunch of 2-year-olds, you know? Let’s figure out border security, and let’s get people to work, and let’s let the State of the Union take place like it always does.”
A moderate Republican just elected to a second term in Maryland, Hogan has taken to the national stage in recent weeks to call for an end to the bitter polarization of Washington politics.
Read more from The Post’s Arelis R. Hernández here.
1:25 p.m.: Pence arrives at Senate GOP luncheon
Vice President Pence arrived at the Capitol on Thursday afternoon to attend the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon, according to multiple reports.
Senate Republicans and Democrats are holding their separate lunch meetings shortly ahead of votes on the competing plans to reopen the government.
Pence did not respond to questions from reporters about what comes next if both bills on the Senate floor this afternoon fail.
12:50 p.m.: Maryland lawmaker seeks to make federal employees working without pay eligible for unemployment benefits
Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) on Thursday introduced a bill that would allow federal employees who are working without pay to collect unemployment benefits during the government shutdown.
His bill would reverse guidance from the administration that says only employees who are prevented from working until the federal government reopens are eligible for unemployment compensation.
“We have to get cash flowing back into these federal employees’ homes,” Brown said in an interview Wednesday. “This a real hardship.”
The two-term congressman represents a Maryland district just outside of that nation’s capital with about 80,000 federal workers, which he said is the fifth-highest concentration in the nation. Many federal contractors live there as well.
The Post’s Jenna Portnoy has more here.
12:40 p.m.: Shutdown is a ‘glitch’ and economy will recover the ‘nanosecond’ it’s over, Kudlow says
In an exchange with reporters, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow repeatedly referred to the federal shutdown as a “glitch” and said that any economic damage done will be reversed as soon as the government reopens.
“The moment, the nanosecond the government is ... reopened, all these glitches will go away,” Kudlow said.
Asked about the impact on people who are not federal employees — including contractors, restaurant owners and others — Kudlow said he couldn’t speak to all of them but maintained that many defense and aerospace contractors are getting paid.
“They’re going to get it back,” Kudlow said of those who have lost money due to the shutdown.
12:15 p.m.: McCarthy says Ross was wrong about federal workers
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was wrong to question why furloughed federal workers are going to food banks.
“They are being harmed,” McCarthy said at a House Republican news conference.
He also said it was a “low point in history” for Pelosi to disinvite Trump from delivering the State of the Union in the House chamber next week. “Get in the room tomorrow and make a commitment to one another. Stay in the room till we solve this problem,” he said.
11:45 a.m.: Schumer says Ross’s comments about food banks show ‘callous indifference’
Schumer criticized Ross for questioning during an appearance on CNBC on Thursday morning why furloughed federal employees are going to food banks.
“He was arguing that it’s easy for furloughed workers to get a loan,” Schumer said. “Those comments are appalling and reveal the administration’s callous indifference towards the federal workers it is treating as pawns.”
About 800,000 federal employees face a second missed paycheck on Friday because of the partial government shutdown.
“Hard-working people who just want to help their families have a decent life have to go to a food bank. They did nothing wrong,” Schumer said.
During his appearance on CNBC, Ross was asked about workers turning to food banks.
“I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why,” Ross said, adding that workers should be able to borrow from credit unions or banks given their status as federal employees.
11:40 a.m.: Manchin plans to vote for both bills
Sen. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), one of the more conservative Democrats in the chamber, told reporters that he plans to vote for both bills on the floor Thursday.
“I want to work with the president,” Manchin said. “I want to work with my colleagues.”
He said it would be hard to vote against the Democratic-backed bill to temporarily reopen government, given the Senate passed a similar measure in December.
“How can anybody vote against the second proposal?” Manchin said. “It would be hard to justify that one.”
In a tweet, Manchin said that he was voting for both bills because “I believe we must end this harmful shutdown immediately & it’s our first opportunity in the Senate to do so.”
He added that both bills “will probably fail.”
11:25 a.m.: McConnell expresses hope that GOP-backed bill will pass
McConnell expressed hope that a GOP-backed bill to end the shutdown would pass the chamber later Thursday.
“My hope is that we will pass the proposal that could be signed into law and solve the problem, and that we will not pass the alternative which does not have a chance of becoming law and solving the problem.”
The alternative McConnell referenced was a Democratic-backed plan that does not include border wall funding demanded by Trump.
Neither bill is expected to get the 60 votes needed to move forward in the Senate.
Asked about next steps, McConnell did not answer.
11:20 a.m.: Trump tweets as Pelosi holds news conference
Trump responded in real time to Pelosi as she was holding a news conference, saying that he “will not Cave” on his demand for border wall funding.
“Nancy just said she ‘just doesn’t understand why?’ ” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Very simply, without a Wall it all doesn’t work. Our Country has a chance to greatly reduce Crime, Human Trafficking, Gangs and Drugs. Should have been done for decades. We will not Cave!”
11:15 a.m.: Pelosi urges Senate Republicans to pass Democratic-backed bill
Pelosi urged Senate Republicans to accept a Democratic-backed bill on Thursday that would reopen government for two weeks to allow more time for negotiations over border security.
“Today is simple,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “Who can say no to that?”
Pelosi noted that the GOP-led Senate passed a similar bill in December prior to Trump demanding inclusion of $5.7 billion for border wall funding when the legislation reached the House.
“There’s no excuse for Senate Republicans not to pass this legislation,” Pelosi said, adding that Democrats support stronger border security. “Let’s have that discussion after we open up government.”
Pelosi also knocked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who said in an interview on CNBC on Thursday morning that he doesn’t understand why furloughed federal employees are using food banks.
“Is this a ‘let-them-eat-cake’ kind of attitude? Or call your father for money?” Pelosi said.
10:50 a.m.: House votes to temporarily reopen Department of Homeland Security
The House voted largely along party lines on Thursday to provide funding for the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 28.
The bill was the latest in a series passed by the Democrat-led House to reopen shuttered departments that have been declared dead on arrival in the GOP-led Senate.
The vote was 231 to 180.
Five Republicans voted for the bill while one Democrat opposed it.
10:45 a.m.: Gary Cohn urges Trump to ‘get the government open’
Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, on Thursday urged the president to end the partial government shutdown.
During an appearance on MSNBC from Davos, Switzerland, the site of a global economic forum, Cohn was asked if he had a message for Trump.
“The government needs to be open, the government needs to be open,” Cohn said. “He’s got to get the government open.”
In an interview last week with the Boston Globe, Cohn called the shutdown “completely wrong.”
Cohn, a free-trade advocate, stepped down as director of the National Economic Council in March after Trump announced he was imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
10:15 a.m.: Former DHS secretaries, including John Kelly, urge funding for department
Five former secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security — including former Trump White House chief of staff John F. Kelly — are urging the president and Congress to provide funding for the department, one of the victims of the partial government shutdown.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the former secretaries say it is “unconscionable” for DHS employees to have to rely on the generosity of others to get by without paychecks.
“DHS employees who protect the traveling public, investigate and counter terrorism, and protect critical infrastructure should not have to rely on the charitable generosity of others for assistance in feeding their families and paying their bills while they steadfastly focus on the mission at hand,” the letter says.
Kelly served as homeland security secretary before becoming Trump’s chief of staff in July 2017.
Other former secretaries who signed the letter include Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson.
The House is planning to vote Thursday morning on a bill that would temporarily reopen DHS while negotiations continue on border security.
10 a.m.: Scalise says it was ‘disgraceful’ for Pelosi to rescind Trump’s speaking invitation
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) blasted Pelosi on Thursday for rescinding Trump’s invitation to deliver the State of the Union in the House chamber, calling her behavior “unbecoming of the office of speaker.”
Scalise’s comments during an interview on Fox News came a day after Trump agreed to postpone an address that was scheduled for next week.
Earlier Wednesday, Pelosi wrote a letter to Trump in which she indicated the House would not pass a resolution required for him to appear in the chamber, the traditional venue for addresses to join sessions of Congress.
Scalise said that Pelosi is “holding the State of the Union hostage.”
“Nancy Pelosi will go down as the only speaker to rescind that invitation to the president,” Scalise said. “It’s disgraceful. It’s unbecoming of the office of speaker. She needs to actually do her job.”
9:50 a.m.: House members seek to keep focus on furloughed employees
During a closed-door meeting, House Democratic leaders urged rank-and-file lawmakers to remain in Washington this afternoon if possible after votes conclude for the day, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) plan to keep the House floor open to allow members to give speeches about the plight of furloughed and unpaid government employees.
About 800,000 federal employees face a second missed paycheck on Friday.
9:45 a.m.: Democrats aim to unveil border-security package on Friday
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Thursday that Democrats plan to unveil a border security package on Friday that will include at least $5.7 billion in funding.
That is the figure that Trump has been seeking for border wall funding. The Democratic package is expected to focus on other aspects of border security, including immigration judges and drones.
“I think you’ll hear in the morning exactly what format it will be,” Thompson said, calling the plan a “work in progress.”
Democrats have indicated they would consider such legislation only after the government is reopened.
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) later told reporters that the Democratic proposal will offer “real border security, not a concrete edifice to somebody’s ego.”
9:25 a.m.: Ross faces criticism for questioning why federal workers are going to food banks
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday sparked a firestorm of criticism on social media following an interview on CNBC in which he said he didn’t understand why some furloughed federal workers are relying on assistance from food banks.
“I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why,” Ross said, adding that workers should be able to borrow from credit unions or banks given their status as federal employees.
“The 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it,” Ross said.
Much of the criticism directed at Ross focused on his personal wealth with suggestions that he is out of touch with rank-and-file federal employees.
8:37 a.m.: Trump weighs in with his first tweet of the day on border security
Trump appeared to remain dug in early Thursday on his demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall across hundreds of miles along the Mexican border.
“Without a Wall there cannot be safety and security at the Border or for the U.S.A.,” he said in a tweet. “BUILD THE WALL AND CRIME WILL FALL!”
The tweet incorporated the new rhyming rally cry that the president unveiled Wednesday.
It was the first of the day on border security after a half dozen tweets in which Trump had addressed other topics, including North Korea and his former “bad lawyer” and fixer Michael Cohen.
8:20 a.m.: Clyburn thanks Trump for postponing State of the Union
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) thanked Trump during a television interview Thursday for agreeing to postpone the State of the Union address.
“We know what the state of the union is right now,” Clyburn said during an appearance on CNN. “It is chaotic. It is catastrophic for a lot of American families. So let’s get that behind us and then all of us will be in a good mood. … Hopefully he’ll be in a good enough mood to deliver it.”
Trump tweeted late Wednesday night that he would not seek an alternative venue to deliver his address next week and will instead wait until the longest shutdown in U.S. history ends.
Pelosi had made it clear earlier in the day that the House would not pass a resolution formally inviting Trump to the House chamber, the traditional setting for addresses to joint sessions of Congress.
8 a.m.: Gardner to break with party, vote for Democratic plan, editorial says
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) plans to break with his party and vote for the Democratic plan to open the government without wall funding, according to an editorial published Wednesday night by the Denver Post.
“Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner’s spokesman told us Wednesday he intends to vote for a clean funding bill that would open the government with no increased border-security funding attached,” the editorial said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Gardner is up for reelection next year in a state that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried by about five percentage points over Trump in 2016. Gardner recently served as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which seeks to aid GOP candidates for the chamber.
7:30 a.m.: House Democrats push idea of guaranteeing Trump a border-security vote
A group of House Democrats continued Thursday to press their case that Pelosi should guarantee Trump a vote on border security funding by the end of February if he agrees to allow the government to reopen.
“Every option has to be on the table, but don’t negotiate while the government is shut down,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) said during an interview on CNN. “You can’t negotiate about anything when the government is closed.”
Gottheimer was among 30 Democrats who signed a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday.
The effort was led by freshman Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.),who represents a military-heavy district including Virginia Beach. She told The Washington Post that she would be open to a menu of border security options, including a “physical barrier” of some type.
“He’s not talking about a wall from sea to shining sea,” Luria said of Trump. “That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about physical barriers as recommended by experts.”
Read more about the letter from The Post’s Jenna Portnoy here.
6:45 a.m.: Just what is in the competing Senate bills?
The Republican bill, based on a plan offered by Trump, includes $5.7 billion to build a wall across hundreds of miles along the southern border, plus funding for 750 more Border Patrol agents, 375 additional Customs and Border Protection officers and 2,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and support staff.
The Democratic proposal set for a vote Thursday includes no additional money for border security or any other government function. Instead, it opens the government through Feb. 8, under prior funding levels, to allow for further negotiations while also providing $14 billion in unrelated disaster-relief funding.
More details are available here from The Post’s Mike DeBonis and Kevin Uhrmacher.
6:35 a.m.: Trump recommends a book on the 2016 election
Trump began Day 34 of the partial government shutdown by tweeting about the 2016 election.
“A great new book just out, ‘Game of Thorns,’ by Doug Wead, Presidential Historian and best selling author. The book covers the campaign of 2016, and what could be more exciting than that?” the president wrote on Twitter.
Wead’s book carries the subtitle: “The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy.”
The conservative commentator was at the center of a controversy in 2005 after he acknowledged secretly taping George W. Bush over a two-year period when he was running for president.
6 a.m.: Pelosi urges Trump to end the shutdown in the ‘near future’
Trump agreed Wednesday night to postpone his State of the Union address after Pelosi said the House would not pass a resolution formally inviting him to appear next week.
In late-night tweets, Trump said he is no longer looking at alternative venues to the House chambers and he looks forward to giving an address “in the near future.”
That prompted a response by Pelosi on Twitter.
“Mr. President, I hope by saying ‘near future’ you mean you will support the House-passed package to #EndTheShutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow,” Pelosi wrote. “Please accept this proposal so we can reopen government, repay our federal workers and then negotiate our differences.”
More on the drama that unfolded Wednesday is available here from The Post’s Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez.
Mike DeBonis, Paul Kane, Sean Sullivan, Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and David Nakamura contributed to this report.