Government set to shut down as senator says no vote

The Latest: As shutdown looms, Trump seeks to blame Dems

Asked how long any potential shutdown would last, she added: "Let's hope that that doesn't have to happen".

"There's no agreement", congressman Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus of ultra-conservatives, told reporters as he left a closed-door meeting on the Capitol's Senate side. The Senate meanwhile remained open late Friday, but there were no signs yet of a breakthrough, and the chamber was quiet.

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney is instructing agencies "to execute plans for an orderly shutdown" when government funding lapses at midnight. Not one Democrat voted yes, and we won big. And Thursday night, Pelosi said on Twitter that "Democrats are for real border security solutions".

"It's possible that we'll have a shutdown". So proud of you all.

On the shortest day this winter, Trump plunged America into a darkness that goes beyond the particulars of the border wall or the Syria pull out or the Mattis resignation or anything else.

According to a fact sheet released by Democrats from the Senate Appropriations Committee, more than 420,000 essential government workers would have to work without pay until the partial shutdown is resolved. That means that the Democrats take over a week from Thursday, so time is limited for Trump and congressional Republicans to use the last remaining days of the House GOP majority to extract a deal from Senate Democrats.

Republicans, however, now have only a 51-49 majority, which includes a few moderate Republicans and anti-Trump Republicans who aren't thrilled with the prospect of a wall.

"Our great country must have border security", Trump said.

And he exhorted the Senate's Republican leader to corral enough Democratic votes to send a House-passed plan to the White House, even though the measure is nearly certain to be rejected in the Senate. After previous shutdowns, Congress also has passed legislation to retroactively pay furloughed workers.

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So restive were senators returning to Washington that McConnell and others sported lapel buttons declaring them members of the "Cranky Senate Coalition". "The shutdown will hopefully not last long".

On Friday, the Senate-after keeping the vote open for hours while senators negotiated-finally voted to approve the motion to proceed onto the bill that the House passed.

While a resolution previously passed the House with Trump's requested $5 billion funding, the Senate was unable to achieve a 60-vote majority required to advance the bill to a straight up-down vote in the face of Democratic opposition.

The Senate was expected to reject the House measure because Democratic votes are needed and Mr McConnell showed little interest in changing the rules - as Mr Trump proposed - to allow a simple majority for passage. "If enough Dems don't vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown!" he tweeted.

The possibility of a government shutdown fed investor anxieties and contributed to another down day for United States stocks on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.82 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 2.06 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.99 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Capitol Lounge near the Capitol was offering shutdown-themed drinks beginning after midnight Friday.

Certain government agencies will stop receiving funding, and will immediately cease operations. The US Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected because it is an independent agency.

And when the shutdown ends, all those furloughed employees are going to get paid.

Unlike with some previous shutdowns, the National Park Service will keep almost all parks and monuments open, but with no staff or services available, and no bathrooms other than pit toilets. Richard Shelby of Alabama said he told Trump.

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