Senate Republicans failed to win over enough Democrats to reach 60 votes in a last-ditch effort to avoid a government shutdown at midnight Friday.
Members of both parties in Congress had raced against time to pass a budget resolution/assign blame before a government shutdown set for midnight ET.
Political parties squabbled all day over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (aka DACA), the Wall and Children’s Health Insurance Program. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis warned that the mess in Washington was hurting military readiness.
As they foamed over, cable news networks flipped the switch on their Countdown to Shutdown clocks, in the bottom right corner of their screens.
CNN had some fun sharing video of Citizen Trump pontificating, before the 2013 government shutdown during Obama’s presidency, “you just have a president who is not a leader, and not getting people in a room, and not shouting, and cajoling, and leading, and having a good time and a terrible times – all those different emotional things you have to do to get people into the room and just make deals for the good of the country.”
The cable news network also ran a segment telling viewers what government functions would and would not actually shut down. Government flu tracking and the passport-application processing would come to a standstill. All 19 Smithsonians would be shuttered, as would NASA monitoring of potentially dangerous asteroids – a big one is set to brush by Earth on February 4, the cable news network noted. Air traffic controllers, however, would stay on the job.
President Donald Trump invited Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to the White House for an afternoon one-on-one, spooking some Republicans. Schumer previously had said, “We Democrats believe that we want to do everything we can to avoid a shutdown, but we Democrats believe if there is one, it will fall on the Republicans’ backs — plain and simple.”
Fox News Channel star/Trump BFF Sean Hannity begged to differ:
“The Democrats, the media — they are desperately trying to whip you into a frenzy about a government shutdown,” he said. “They want to create a climate of fear and panic that is all based on lies.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” Hannity waxed poetically. “They’re not telling you the truth about what is actually going to happen if, at midnight, the government ‘shuts down.’ It never really shuts down. It’s all an attempt to try and use the shutdown to bludgeon, once again, President Trump and the Republicans politically — even though … they have nothing to do with this.
“Senate Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer – they’re the ones to blame tonight,” the Hannity host added. “They’re the ones, in reality, putting illegal immigrants before you, the American people. DACA is in place until March. It’s not that urgent. It’s why, tonight, this is being called The Schumer Shutdown.
“It’s all about trying to convince you the shutdown will lead to mass suffering and apocalyptic-like circumstances. Those are the lies they have been telling us all week.”
Hannity then switched to his preferred story for the night: “Hillary’s Dirty Dossier.”
At 6:30 PM, however, Hannity got interrupted with news Sen. Lindsey Graham announced an “outline of a framework” for a deal to keep the government open until February 8, so as to get this mess of a deadline past Trump’s first State of the Union Address, on January 30.