Joe Brusky / Flickr DSC08374...
Joe Brusky / Flickr

After a long day of essentially no forward progress, we are two hours away from a government shutdown and nobody seems to in charge. Particularly not this guy, who bigfooted his way in about half an hour before the supposedly scheduled vote on the short-term spending bill sent over to the Senate by the House.

Way to help the last-minute negotiating, big guy!

There was last minute negotiating. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spent a few hours shuttling between Democratic and Republican leadership meetings, pushing a three-week spending bill that he thought would give them enough time to come to resolution on immigration. But:

Democrats are holding tight, with just four breaking ranks, essentially a free vote for them, because it would take at least 9 Democrats to give McConnell the votes to pass this. Or maybe 13 or 14? Who knows? Nobody really seems to be in charge of anything here, and that includes the whip counts. Here’s where the Democrats are at:

The vote that is almost certain to fail starts shortly, and the government shutdown shortly after that.

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And it failed. The vote is holding now at 50-48, one senator having not voted. I believe it’s McConnell, who for procedural reasons will have to vote no so he can bring the bill back, since it’s a cloture vote. The Republicans who voted against are Flake (AZ), Graham (SC), Lee (UT), Paul (KY). 

Democrats voting yes, a free vote for them essentially since this was doomed to fail with Republican votes, were Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND), Jones (AL), Manchin (WV), and McCaskill (MO).

The vote is still open, McConnell not having voted yet. He and Schumer left the floor together a bit ago, presumably to try negotiating some more. GOP Sen. Bob Corker (TN) is telling reporters they’re talking about a shorter-term bill and is confident there won’t be a shutdown. The problem there is that the House has been saying “no” all day to any shorter-term bill, and that there’s just 52 minutes left to get it done.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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