Approaching Shutdown:Scenes From the Capital

Approaching Shutdown:Scenes From the Capital


On a typical Friday in Washington, lawmakers might be returning home, the president might be visiting one of his golf clubs and tour groups might be roaming an otherwise empty Capitol. This week, only the tours went according to plan.

Negotiations between President Trump and members of Congress in both parties over a deal to fund the government while protecting the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers fell apart in recent days. The House passed a stopgap spending bill on Thursday with predominantly Republican support to keep the government open for a month, but the Senate needed more than a dozen Democratic votes for it to pass.

Just after midnight Saturday, the government shut down.

CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

The Senate convened Friday morning, but no vote had been scheduled on the resolution passed by the House the night before. Journalists roamed the halls waiting for updates and swarmed Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, with questions once he appeared.

CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

While President Trump spoke from the Rose Garden during the annual March for Life, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, arrived at the White House. The two met for 90 minutes to work toward a deal that would avert a shutdown. A senior White House official described the meeting as “cordial,” but said that a lengthy list of obstacles remained.

CreditJacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

“We had a long and detailed meeting,” Mr. Schumer said when he returned to the Capitol. “We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements. The discussions will continue.”

CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

Only hours remained to avert a shutdown as the sun set in Washington. Inside the Capitol, negotiating took place out of sight, while other rituals were performed out in the open. Statues were cleaned, and Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, appeared on television.

CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times
CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

A Marine remained posted into the evening outside the West Wing, indicating that Mr. Trump was still there. Earlier Friday, Mr. Trump canceled a trip to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he had planned to celebrate the anniversary of his inauguration. A vote on the House’s resolution was finally scheduled for 10 p.m.

Outside the Capitol, supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program rallied.

CreditTasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Senate Democrats, including Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, met behind closed doors hours before the vote try to to keep the government open. Others, like Senator Mike Rounds, Republican of South Dakota, made their way to the floor for a vote that seemed uncertain at best.

CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times
CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

The House bill needed 60 votes to pass, but received only 50. Five Democrats and five Republicans voted against the rest of their party, and at midnight, the government closed. Photographers surrounded the Ohio Clock near the Senate chamber to mark the moment.

CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times
CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times



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