Partial Government Shutdown Guaranteed, as Congress Calls it a Night

President Trump failed to reach a budget deal with Congress, ensuring some agencies would have to shutter operations at midnight.  President Trump failed to reach a budget deal with Congress, ensuring some agencies would have to shutter operations at midnight. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The third shutdown under the Trump administration will commence at midnight Friday, congressional leaders confirmed.

The House adjourned for the day on Friday evening, although leaders instructed lawmakers to remain on call to vote throughout the weekend. And Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters that the Senate would not hold any more votes, thereby confirming the impending shutdown. Later on Friday, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney officially notified agencies of the lapse in appropriations.

"Although we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration, employees should report to work for their next regularly scheduled tour of duty to undertake orderly shutdown activities," Mulvaney wrote. 

Beginning Saturday, nine departments and a number of independent agencies will shut down some or all of their operations, as the result of a spat between President Trump and Democratic lawmakers over whether to authorize funding for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The Senate on Wednesday approved a “clean” continuing resolution to keep unfunded agencies open until Feb. 8, a bill that Trump suggested he would support. But on Thursday, he revived his demand for $5 billion in wall funding, and the House approved a CR with additional wall funding, and $7.8 billion in disaster relief Thursday night.

That triggered nearly a full day of stalemate, as Trump said he was ready for the government to be shut down “for a long time,” and senators, many of whom had already flown home, returned to Washington. Late in the afternoon, a delegation from the White House went to Capitol Hill and began to talk with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Despite a bill not to vote on any legislation until a “grand bargain” is reached between the White House and both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, there is no sign that the parties were closer to a deal Friday, and members of Congress left the Capitol for the night.

Both the House and Senate are expected to reconvene at noon Saturday. OMB this week issued special guidance to affected agencies, outlining pay and leave details, as well as how to handle orderly shutdown procedures given the holidays on Dec. 24 and 25.

This story was updated to include information from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

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