Local 23’s Mark Meredith is on Capital Hill as lawmakers could not avoid a government shutdown right before Christmas.
President Trump started his day by huddling with Senate Republicans at the White House.
Then, began the blame game.
“It’s up to the Democrats, its really the Democrat shutdown.” Said Trump
“President Trump, you own the shutdown. You said so in your own words.” Said Senator Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, reminding the president of last week’s oval office meeting where the president promised he’d take all the blame for a shutdown.
On the senate floor, Republican Leader Mitch Mcconnell declared support for the president’s eleventh hour demand money for the border wall, even though it was Mcconnell himself who originally agreed to delay a funding fight until February.
“I support the additional border security and disaster aid that the house added to the bill, and I’m proud to vote for it.” Said Mcconnell.
As senators raced back to DC for the unexpected vote, neither party appeared thrilled with the idea of a shutdown, especially one right before Christmas.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey told us the American people deserved better.
“There’s no reason why our country should be dragged through this.” Said Casey.
Virginia senator Tim Kaine said he was especially worried about hundreds of thousands of government employees.
“Half will have to work for no pay, half will be laid off with no pay after Christmas season.” Said Kaine.
But experts say a shutdown during the December holidays would not be unprecedented.
A 1995 shutdown stretched on for 21 days, lasting through Christmas and New Years.