Congress closed up shop Friday night without a deal to avert a government shutdown at midnight, becoming snared by President Trump’s demands for new border wall money.
All sides insisted negotiations were underway but no agreement was on the horizon, and the adjournment of the House and Senate meant nobody would be around to approve it anyway.
That guaranteed the third shutdown of the year — one spurred by Democrats, one by a rebel Republican and this one by Mr. Trump.
The first two were brief, and all sides insisted they hoped this latest shutdown would also be short, though it was not clear what sort of deal might emerge.
The only major action Friday was in the Senate where, with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence, lawmakers voted to at least begin debate on a spending bill — but only after agreeing that there will be no more parliamentary shenanigans and brinkmanship.
Instead, the next vote will have to be on a big compromise, said Sen. Bob Corker, one of the Republicans who forced the matter.
“It keeps negotiations alive,” he said.
In gridlocked Washington that turns out to be a tangible accomplishment.
While most of the government is funded through the end of fiscal year 2019, dozens of agencies still don’t have full-year funding, and are slated to run out of stopgap money at midnight.
Without new funds they will go into shutdown mode, with only essential employees working.
Given the looming weekend, it’s unlikely average Americans will notice. And since Monday and Tuesday are now federal holidays, any real pain for the public would probably be delayed until Wednesday.