- The federal government is set to enter a partial shutdown at midnight.
- Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director, said the White House has informed federal agencies to prepare for a shutdown.
- Mulvaney said that the chances of a shutdown are now “50-50.”
The White House is getting ready for a shutdown.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Friday that the Trump administration has informed federal agencies on Friday to prepare to enact contingency plans in the event of a shutdown.
If Congress does not pass a funding bill by midnight, the federal government will enter a partial shutdown.
“We’ve had our meeting just about a half an hour ago, a teleconference with a bunch of agencies to tell them to start to implement their lapse plan, the next step in preparing for a lapse in funding, that’s what we call a shutdown, the formal name of it,” Mulvaney said. “I guess the bottom line is we’re working to make sure there is no shutdown but if the Senate or the House can’t get together to finalise a deal we’ll be ready.”
OMB operates as the manager of other offices during a shutdown. The office solicited plans from a vast number of agencies regarding their plan in a shutdown.
The chances of a shutdown have risen, Mulvaney said, due to disagreement in the Senate over a potential funding bill. Short-term legislation, called a continuing resolution (CR), was passed by the House on Thursday but remains stalled in the Senate.
Democrats are insistent that any CR include a codification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program, which is not part of the House-passed bill.
Also, some Republican senators have leaned against supporting the short-term plan because they believe it does not provide funding certainty for the military. The short-term legislation prevents the military from funding long-term projects like ship building.
Mulvaney, who as a Republican member of Congress helped to orchestrate the 2013 shutdown that lasted 16 days, said chances of a shutdown have “ratcheted up.”
“I’m handicapping it now at some place between 50 and 60%,” Mulvaney said. “But again we’re planning for it as if it’s 100%. That’s what we do, we run the government, and we will run the government if a bill passes, we will run the government if a bill doesn’t pass.”
During a press conference, Mulvaney pinned the blame for the possible shutdown on Senate Democrats, calling it the “Schumer shutdown” in reference to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“There’s absolutely no reason to insert an immigration solution, a DACA solution into the funding bill today,” Mulvaney said.
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