The Shutdown Begins

Dems refuse to budge on funding government, favor illegals over military

When midnight struck, the Schumer shutdown began. The Senate refused to pass a continuing resolution to keep funding the government through the weekend and the next several weeks and months, mostly driven by the desire of Democrats to see so-called Dreamers, the children of illegal immigrants, dealt with as part of the spending deal.

It is the first government shutdown since October 2013 and the 19th since the ability to shut down the government over budget issues first became a reality in 1976.

While Democrats pushed the idea that this was new territory, given that Republicans hold the House, the Senate and the White House, during Jimmy Carter's reign as president, there were five different shutdowns while Democrats also held the House and Senate.

Standing on the the Senate floor minutes after the vote was called, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "This was 100% avoidable."

McConnell said there was one reason and one reason only that the government was being shut down.

"The shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed President Trump for the shutdown, claiming that Trump had been open to a deal earlier in the day but then walked away.

Schumer pointed out that the Republicans control the House, Senate and White House but could not pass the continuing resolution -- but he failed to point out that Republicans control just 51 seats in the Senate and 60 votes are needed to pass the spending measure.

While the vote went mostly along party lines, CNBC reported that five Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama and Claire McCaskill of Missouri — voted for the deal while four Republicans — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — voted against it.

The proposal to fund the government through February 16 failed, and McConnell proposed a new measure, to be voted on at a later date, calling for the government to be funded through the State of the Union address February 8.

Minutes before the shutdown began, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement on Twitter calling those who voted against funding the government "obstructionist losers."