The Senate has in the last few minutes pressed pause on any further votes on government funding or the border wall until the White House and congressional leaders agree on some kind of global deal.
A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful! pic.twitter.com/sGltXh0cu9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
It’s telling that no one on the Republican side wants to take any more votes until they know what President Trump will sign.
To be clear, that’s not significant progress. A shutdown still looms. A deal is not in sight.
The announcement on the Senate floor that the parties would continue negotiating came after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 47-47 tie on a procedural motion to take up the House-passed funding bill that includes the $5 billion for the wall. The vote on the motion to proceed had stayed open all afternoon while senators scurried back to Washington to cast their votes, many senators having left town after the Senate passed a funding bill Wednesday.
The 47-47 tie showed that there are not nearly enough votes in the Senate to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass the House bill. There’s no obvious way forward for Republicans on the Senate side.
So things are stalled again. A shutdown seems very likely in a few hours.
Meanwhile, President Trump is tweeting cartoon drawings of a “Steel Slat Barrier.”