The government shutdown headed into its third day after frantic efforts Sunday by a bipartisan group of moderate senators failed to produce a compromise on immigration and spending.
“We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward that would be acceptable for both sides,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, adding that talks would continue ahead of a procedural vote scheduled for noon Monday.
The effects of the shutdown over the weekend were relatively limited – halting trash pickup on National Park Service property, canceling military reservists’ drill plans, and switching off some government employees’ cellphones.
But the shutdown continuing into Monday, the start of the workweek, means that hundreds of thousands of workers will stay home and key federal agencies will be affected. Passport and visa applications will go unprocessed, federal contractors will see payments delayed, and the Internal Revenue Service will slow its preparations for the coming tax season.
The impasse continues as it was unclear whether the public would blame the Republicans, who control the White House and Congress, or Democrats taking a stand on immigration while shuttering government agencies.
The moderates’ proposal – to link a three-week extension of government funding to the consideration of an immigration bill in the Senate – prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to announce that he would be willing to start debating immigration legislation if an agreement of the issue was not otherwise reached by early February.
“Let’s step back from the brink,” he said. “Let’s stop victimizing the American people and get back to work on their behalf.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Robert Costa, Erica Werner, Mike Debonis, Sean Sullivan