House Speaker Paul Ryan said Senate Democrats failed the U.S. armed forces, children, and all Americans for allowing a government shutdown as the upper chamber failed to pass a stopgap spending measure by midnight.
Blaming Democrats for committing to a "dangerous political ploy," the Wisconsin Republican accused the minority party for angling to appease their base despite not actually opposing anything in the spending bill.
“Senate Democrats have let down our troops, our children, and all Americans,” Ryan said in a statement. “They will do anything to appease their base, even shut down the federal government. There is nothing in this bill to keep the government open that Democrats actually oppose, and yet they are blocking it nonetheless in a dangerous political ploy. All of this is just unnecessary. It is reckless. Senate Democrats have brought us to a shutdown.”
Congress missed the deadline to avert a shutdown as most Senate Democrats and a few Republicans voted to block a temporary spending bill that would have authorized funding for the government until Feb. 16. The House approved the stopgap spending measure on Thursday.
Democrats balked at the spending bill because they are trying to include a provision in it to protect “Dreamers” covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which prevents those who came to the U.S. illegally as children from being deported. The short-term provision would have reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program delayed several Obamacare taxes.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders warned late Friday in the final minutes that the White House wouldn't negotiate with Democrats on immigration at all until they agree to keep the government open.
“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” Sanders said in a press release just minutes before the midnight deadline. “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans.”
Republicans needed to find 60 votes to end debate on the House bill, but the final vote was 50-49, well short of that goal. One of the "no" votes was Senate Majority Leader McConnell, R-Ky., who voted against it because, procedurally, it lets him call it up again. A final passage vote would have only required a simple majority.