As Shutdown Looms, Senate To Hold Key Vote At 10 P.M. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks with the media after Senate Republicans met with President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks with the media after Senate Republicans met with President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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January 19, 2018 7:18 p.m.

The Senate has scheduled for 10 p.m. ET a procedural vote to advance the House bill that would fund the government for a month, though the path to avoiding a government shutdown does not look any clearer in the hours leading up to the votes.

The government will shut down at midnight if a spending bill does not pass.

A few Democrats have defected from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) threats to block the bill, but not enough to guarantee the 60 votes the House bill will need move forward. A handful of Republicans have also said they will not vote for the month-long spending bill. Democrats object to how Republicans have shirked continuing an immigration program for young people brought to country illegally as children.

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Senate Democrats plan to meet at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Democratic senators confirmed as supporting the GOP bill are Joe Manchin (WV), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Doug Jones (AL).

Neither Democrats nor Republicans — including members of the leadership teams — were able to give reporters many details about negotiations to keep the government open. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said earlier Friday evening he wasn’t sure if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Schumer were talking about a potential deal.

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