House, Senate and White House negotiators scrambled unsuccessfully Friday night to draft a compromise ahead of a temporary shutdown of one-fourth of the federal government and to address President Donald Trump's demand for billions of dollars in border-wall funding.
Pressure to resolve the impasse grew as the midnight deadline loomed and after the U.S. Senate declined to take an up-or-down vote on a bill sent over by the U.S. House featuring $5.7 billion for border security. The House and Senate adjourned until Saturday, assuring the shutdown.
Three of Kansas' congressmen — Republicans Roger Marshall, Ron Estes and Kevin Yoder — voted Thursday with the 217-185 majority in the House for a stopgap bill containing border wall money and capable of funding government until Feb. 8. U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, the 2nd District Republican, was absent.
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, both Kansas Republicans, split on a competing budget bill Wednesday adopted by the Senate. It contained no money for Trump's long-promised wall but avoided a shutdown applying to an estimated 800,000 federal workers.
Roberts supported the Senate's continuing resolution while Moran said he was weary of government-by-crisis temporary budget fixes.
"Continuing resolutions mean that we are just postponing the issues we face today, and they don't get any easier the longer we wait to resolve them," Moran said. "It is important for me, for Kansans and Americans to know that I oppose the way we are doing business."
Trump made border security a key campaign issue. The president pledged on national television to take ownership of a government shutdown if Congress didn't meet his pre-holiday call for border-wall funding but worked Friday to rebrand a shutdown as the work of Democrats.
Marshall and Estes denounced Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for opposing the House legislation.
"Folding to Nancy Pelosi on national security matters is not what I came to Washington to do," Marshall said.
Marshall, who represents the 1st District, said he was prepared to work through the holidays on an agreement with wall financing.
"Anyone who thinks that we are going to get a package that prioritizes border security when Nancy Pelosi takes over the House in January is delusional," he said.
Estes, who serves the 4th District anchored by Wichita, said the Senate's short-term spending bill failed to address "our crisis at the border" with Mexico.
"Unfortunately, Washington Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are willing to force at least a partial shutdown of the government in order to defend their amnesty agenda," Estes said.
In an interview with KCUR, Yoder said the compromise solution was a border-wall number between the $1.6 billion discussed in the Senate and $5.7 billion favored by the House. Yoder, who lost a re-election campaign in November, expressed disappointment about politicization of the border security debate.
This shutdown would hinder operations at the departments of agriculture, homeland security, interior, state, housing, transportation, commerce and justice. The New York Times estimated 420,000 people would work without pay and 380,000 would be furloughed.