The Senate will vote Friday at 10 p.m. on a month-long government funding bill that at this point appears doomed to fail due to mostly Democratic opposition.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set the vote shortly after 7 p.m. on the Senate floor.
Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters no deal is ready that would attract the 60 votes needed to end debate on the bill and pass it before federal funding expires.
“It is 6:20. The government shuts down in five hours and 40 minutes and there is no solution,” Cornyn said. He accused Democrats of causing the shutdown.
Senate Democrats are meeting at 8:30 p.m. in the Capitol to discuss the vote, a leadership aide told the Washington Examiner.
A temporary spending bill expires at midnight. Democrats are demanding a provision be inserted into a new government funding bill that would protect so-called Dreamers, who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
“I think they got so far out over their skis and now they are trying to figure out a way to save face,” Cornyn said.
Earlier Friday, President Trump summoned Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to the White House for a 90-minute meeting. Republicans say they were told Trump asked Schumer to go back to the Hill and negotiate a solution with the GOP, but Trump then tweeted about an “excellent preliminary meeting,” with Schumer and claimed the two sides are “making progress.”
House and Senate Democrats remained on Capitol Hill, awaiting word about the floor schedule. House lawmakers were told to remain “flexible” and not leave town in case they are needed to vote on a different spending bill than the month-long deal they passed on Thursday.
Cornyn and Marc Short, who negotiates on behalf of the president in Congress, both said GOP leaders are not considering another bill, such as a two-week or multi-day spending bill. But Cornyn said a “negotiated outcome” is possible.