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Amid Shutdown, White House Says Senate Democrats ‘Out of Control’
Administration officials, lawmakers signal quick resolution is unlikely

The previous government shutdown took place in October 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House officials on Saturday described Senate Democrats as “out of control” with their demands to end a government shutdown and signaled negotiations have stalled, raising questions whether the federal apparatus will be open when the workweek begins.

President Donald Trump is spending the anniversary of his swearing-in calling congressional GOP leaders and other lawmakers in pursuit of an agreement to reopen the government, aides say. But with both sides trading barbs and insults, a resolution on the shutdown’s first day appears unlikely.

Meehan Denies Wrongdoing Following Report of Harassment Settlement
Pennsylvania Republican is a Democratic target this year

Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Meehan reportedly settled a harassment case using taxpayer funds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:50 p.m. | Rep. Patrick Meehan denied allegations of misconduct Saturday, following a New York Times story that the Pennsylvania Republican used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment case. The newspaper reported that the four-term lawmaker made unwanted romantic advances toward a female staffer in 2016.  

“Congressman Meehan denies the allegations,” his spokesman John Elizandro said in an email. “Throughout his career he has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism.”

House Democrats Maintain Hard Line on Shutdown Demands
Pelosi: “There’s no point having the CR unless we have the terms of engagement”

From left, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., are casting doubt they would support a possible GOP Senate-hatched deal to end the shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If Republican leaders want to advance a three-week continuing resolution as a way out of the government shutdown, they will likely need to round up the votes among themselves. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Saturday rejected a fall-back plan by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a continuing resolution lasting until Feb. 8 and hold an open floor debate on an immigration bill.

White House Swivels Back to GOP Leaders Amid Shutdown
After Friday talks with Schumer, Trump turns to McConnell

President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are attempting to pull together enough votes to end the government shutdown. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The White House is negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on a way out of the government shutdown after talks with Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer failed on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Roll Call. But because the White House and GOP leaders need some Democratic support to clear a 60-vote threshold in the chamber, it is not clear how this approach would solve the Republicans’ math problem.

It is possible White House officials are working with McConnell on an approach discussed late Friday and early Saturday on the Senate floor by a bipartisan group. Under the groups’ proposal, Senate Democrats would allow a three-week continuing resolution to pass and McConnell would allow a floor debate on legislation to address the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in the coming weeks.

Flake Signals Deal to Vote on DACA Proposal
Measure could come to the Senate floor with or without Trump’s backing

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said, “The way to find out what the president wants on DACA is to pass a bill.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators left the Capitol early Saturday morning hoping that an agreement hashed out after midnight would win enough support to get the votes to keep the government shutdown from extending to the workweek.

Arizona Republican Jeff Flake said after the marathon vote in which a mostly Democratic group voted to block a government funding bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has now agreed to put immigration legislation on the floor, with or without assurances of a signature by President Donald Trump.

Government Shuts Down as Senate Fails to Advance Spending Measure
Last-minute negotiations come up short

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters in the Ohio Clock Corridor after the Senate Republicans' policy lunch on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Friday failed to cut off debate on a House-passed bill that would avert a government shutdown and extend funding another four weeks, setting into motion a lapse of appropriations under a unified Republican government. Lawmakers will now aim to make the shutdown short-lived, with the Senate scheduled to reconvene at noon Saturday to advance a shorter-term funding bill and send it back to the House.

Senate Schedules 10 p.m. Vote on CR; House Asked to be Flexible

From left, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., are staring at a government shutdown threat. ( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to avert a govenent shutdown continue, the Senate will vote at 10 p.m. on the House-passed bill to extend funding for four weeks, and members of the House have been asked to be available. 

Shortly after Senate leaders set up the late-night vote, the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise released a statement to members regarding further votes: “Please remain in town and flexible and we will relay any additional information as soon as it becomes available.... We aim to provide ample notice (approximately one hour) prior to any potential additional votes.”

Rand Paul’s Neighbor to Plead Guilty in Assault Case
Court documents highlight dispute about brush

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., allegedly was assaulted while he was mowing his lawn by a neighbor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The neighbor of Sen. Rand Paul who allegedly assaulted the Kentucky Republican while he was mowing his lawn has now signed a federal plea agreement.

The U.S. Attorney in Indianapolis made the announcement Friday. His office was assigned the case following the recusal by the U.S. Attorney in the western part of Kentucky.

Photos of the Week: Butterfly Protesters, A Gold Medal for Dole and More as Shutdown Cloud Hangs Over D.C.
The week of Jan. 16 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., is shown on a television monitor questioning Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed a continuing resolution to fund the government past midnight on Friday, but the bill has yet to pass the Senate. The shutdown showdown cloud has loomed over Washington this entire week, but life also went on inside the halls of Congress.

Here’s the entire week in photos: