New York Times Blames Dems for Potential Shutdown: 'Democrats Seem Set to Block Bill to Keep Government Open'

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
January 19, 2018

New York Times headline Friday night laid the responsibility for a looming government shutdown at the feet of the Democrats.

As part of a constantly updating story about the pending shutdown as the Senate appeared to be short of the 60-vote threshold to keep the government funded, the Times headlined its piece on the front page, "Democrats Seem Set to Block Bill to Keep Government Open."

"Senate Democrats, who appear ready to block approval of the bill the House passed on Thursday, are meeting to discuss their option," the Times reported.

Democrats have insisted a shutdown would be the fault of Republicans since they control both houses of Congress and the White House.

The Republican-controlled House passed a spending bill on Thursday that funded the government through Feb. 16 and also included a six-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program.

However, almost all Senate Democrats are prepared to vote against the bill because it doesn't provide address the "Dreamers," the term for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children who were shielded by President Barack Obama's 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive order.

President Donald Trump rescinded DACA in September and gave Congress six months to find a legal solution, and since the deadline is nearly two months away, the White House has dubbed the impasse the #SchumerShutdown.

The government will shut down after midnight on Friday if the bill is voted down.

Top Paul Ryan aide Brendan Buck tweeted out a screenshot of the Times headline.

Wrote New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin: "Hard for Ds to say this is a GOP shutdown if most Rs vote to keep gov't open & they're joined by red state Ds."

Only five Democrats—all from red states—voted yes on cloture Friday night: Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Heidi Heitkamp (S.D.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Joe Manchin (W., Va.).

Even with full Republican support, that would not have been enough. Four Republicans—Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.)—voted no on cloture.

Trump, who has warned a shutdown will hurt the U.S. military, tweeted Friday night it was "not looking good" and that "Dems want a shutdown" to diminish the success of the Republican tax overhaul.

UPDATE: 10:35 P.M.: This article was updated with information about the failed cloture vote in the Senate.