WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate failed to pass a spending plan Friday evening, resulting in the shutdown of the federal government at midnight.
The Senate voted 50-49 in favor of taking up the measure the House of Representatives passed Thursday, 10 votes short of the threshold needed for a final vote to take place.
The House plan included funding the federal government through Feb. 16 as well as reauthorizing the Children’s’ Health Insurance Program for six years. The program provides states with funding to be used to provide health insurance to families that make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
CHIP provides health care insurance to around 9 million children nationally, including more than 21,000 West Virginia kids.
The House measure also delayed taxes under President Barack Obama’s health care law from going into effect.
U.S. Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Evan Jenkins, voted in favor of the continuing resolution, and Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., was among the 11 Republicans in opposition. The resolution passed 230-197.
Democrats voiced concerns over the lack of protections for those affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was implemented under the Obama administration to allow young immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children to remain in the country.
As a result of the federal government shutdown, thousands of federal employees will be put on furlough although essential workers and operations will remain in place. Many essential employees will not be paid, yet members of the U.S. Congress will continue to receive paychecks.
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., were among those who voted in favor of a procedural vote to move to a final vote on the resolution.
“What we’ve seen instead are Democrats prioritizing legislation to address an illegal immigration issue over children’s health care and putting politics ahead of a bipartisan program that helps millions of families. What’s worse is they brought us to a government shutdown in the process,” Capito said in a press release. “Shutting down the government is a completely fruitless and avoidable tactic, and it’s a disservice to the American people.”
Manchin said earlier Friday he was not in favor of passing short-term resolutions to fund the federal government, adding it puts the country “into limbo.”
“Governing this way is dangerous to our national security and embarrassing for both political parties. We must come together to do our job, and find a solution to reopen the government as soon as possible,” he said in a press release.
Manchin was one of five Democrats who voted in favor of cloture. Others included Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, Alabama’s Doug Jones, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly.
McCaskill, Heitkamp and Donnelly are — like Manchin — Democrats who will be on the ballot this November, with each senator running to represent a state President Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.
Manchin introduced a bill Friday that would stop lawmakers from being paid in the event of a government shutdown beginning with the next Congress, which will start its session in January 2019. McCaskill and Heitkamp are co-sponsors of the legislation, as are Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich..
Four Republicans — Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky — voted against moving the bill forward.