Sen. Warner: Gov. shutdown becomes ‘real problem’ Monday

The federal government remains shut on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, as the Senate failed to approve a temporary funding bill Friday. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
The federal government remains shut on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, as the U.S. Senate failed to approve a temporary funding bill Friday. (WTOP/Dave Dildine) (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Government Shutdown
A pedestrian walks outside of the U.S. Capitol building Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Washington, as Republicans and Democrats showed no signs of ending their standoff over immigration and spending Saturday as Americans awoke to the first day of a government shutdown. In the background is the Washington Memorial. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney is surrounded by members of the media outside the White House, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, and is questioned about a potential government shutdown this weekend. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney is surrounded by members of the media outside the White House, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, and is questioned about a potential government shutdown this weekend. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, center, is surrounded by members of the media outside the White House, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, and is questioned about a potential government shutdown this weekend. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, center, is surrounded by members of the media outside the White House, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, and is questioned about a potential government shutdown this weekend. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Mick Mulvaney
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney speaks with reporters at the White House, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
The Capitol is seen on the first day of a government shutdown after a divided Senate rejected a funding measure, in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Capitol is seen on the first day of a government shutdown after a divided Senate rejected a funding measure, in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Joseph Crowley, Linda Sanchez
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., center, joined from left by, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., hold a news conference on the first morning of a government shutdown after a divided Senate rejected a funding measure last night, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., leads a news conference with House Democrats as lawmakers gather at the Capitol on the first day of a government shutdown after a divided Senate rejected a funding measure last night, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Marc Short
Marc Short, center, White House director for legislative affairs, talks with reporters at the White House, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber on the first morning of a government shutdown after a divided Senate rejected a funding measure last night, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
An advertisement for a cruise around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is placed at the entrance to Castle Clinton, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in New York. The National Park Service announced that the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island would be closed Saturday "due to a lapse in appropriations." Late Friday, the Senate failed to approve legislation to keep the government from shutting down after the midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
An advertisement for a cruise around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is placed at the entrance to Castle Clinton, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in New York. The National Park Service announced that the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island would be closed Saturday “due to a lapse in appropriations.” Late Friday, the Senate failed to approve legislation to keep the government from shutting down after the midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (AP/Mary Altaffer)
(1/11)
The federal government remains shut on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, as the Senate failed to approve a temporary funding bill Friday. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Government Shutdown
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney is surrounded by members of the media outside the White House, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, and is questioned about a potential government shutdown this weekend. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, center, is surrounded by members of the media outside the White House, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, and is questioned about a potential government shutdown this weekend. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Mick Mulvaney
The Capitol is seen on the first day of a government shutdown after a divided Senate rejected a funding measure, in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Joseph Crowley, Linda Sanchez
Nancy Pelosi
Marc Short
Mitch McConnell
An advertisement for a cruise around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is placed at the entrance to Castle Clinton, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in New York. The National Park Service announced that the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island would be closed Saturday "due to a lapse in appropriations." Late Friday, the Senate failed to approve legislation to keep the government from shutting down after the midnight deadline. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans are feuding over who’s to blame for the government shutdown, and there’s no sense that will end any time soon — which poses major problems for the Washington area.

“It’s [been] a challenge for folks in this region over the weekend, but it becomes a real problem come Monday,” said Virginia democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

In an interview with WTOP, Warner, said the next vote to reopen the government is scheduled for 1 a.m. Monday. Warner, who voted against the continuing resolution that temporarily evades shutdowns, said that the D.C. region is hit hardest.

Warner said that during shutdowns past, the government has ensured that federal employees and military personnel got paid, “but from an operational standpoint, we do not need to go through this process.”

Military personnel are at their posts but won’t be paid until the shutdown ends and other essential personnel are also on the job, but Jason Miller executive editor of WTOP partner Federal News Radio said that it’s tough to gauge the shutdown’s impact during the weekend, when many government operations are usually closed.

“If they can’t get a deal over the weekend and the shutdown continues, we’ll really start seeing people being furloughed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and so on,” Miller said.

The Trump administration is encouraging agencies to use unexpired funds to keep their doors open, Miller said.

Warner added that to get the government running again, it will take “a group of senators putting the country first.”

But that’s easier said than done.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress spent Saturday putting the blame on each other over the shutdown.

They were set to negotiate mainly on the issue of immigration, but disaster relief and boosting spending on opioid treatment were also at stake.

Republicans insist that Democrats’ staunch stance on protecting immigrants facing deportation and ignoring funding for the military and extending children’s health insurance brought on the shutdown.

“The American people cannot begin to understand why the Senate Democratic leader thinks the entire government should be shut down until he gets his way on illegal immigration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hours after a last-chance Senate vote failed.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Republicans, “so incompetent and negligent that they couldn’t get it together to keep the government open.”

What could be done to avoid a another future shutdown?

Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service said that, moving forward, the existing budget process should be amended to avoid situations such as this.
He said a biennial budget, as opposed to an annual one, “would give Congress a much bigger shot that they can make the deadline, have a budget in place and would also allow agency to have longer term planning.”

“I think there is a large number of senators in both parties who realize that a government shutdown doesn’t do anybody any good,” Warner said. “Let’s move past the posturing and the blame game and get these negotiations done, get the government reopened.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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