The Government Shut Downs After Failed Vote

A procedural vote to proceed with a spending bill failed late Friday night.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

The federal government shut down at midnight Saturday, following the failure of last-minute budget negotiations to create a stopgap solution to protect the nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. The nail-biting showdown coincides with the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration—a milestone Democrats are portraying as a glaring failure of leadership, given that Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress but were unable to muster the votes to pass the bill.

A critical procedural vote needed for the motion to proceed failed around 10:30 p.m. All but five Democrats appeared to vote “No”, joined by four Republicans: Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Lindsay Graham (S.C.).

Republicans, though, are doing their best to sidestep blame, claiming Democrats are holding government hostage to their demands. Earlier on Friday, OMB director Mick Mulvaney said the White House was preparing for “what we’re calling the ‘Schumer shutdown.’”

As Mother Jones’ Kara Voght reports, only about half of federal agencies have publicly shared up-to-date contingency plans in the event of a shutdown. So many people could be screwed by the shutdown—including the president himself, whose social life took a hit Friday night when, with an agreement unsecured, he canceled his trip to Mar-a-Lago. It remains to be seen if he’ll resume his plans to celebrate one year in office Saturday with a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser at the resort.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate