Senate leaders adjourned Sunday night without reaching a deal to end the government shutdown, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a Monday vote amid renewed hopes that the funding impasse may soon end.
The full impact of a shutdown will hit Monday when hundreds of thousands of furloughed government workers don't show up for work and many federal offices throughout the nation are closed.
McConnell, R-Ky., said senators will vote at noon Monday on a bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8. During that time, McConnell promised, he would work with Democrats on a deal that would beef up border security while also protecting from deportation about 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
If a deal can't be reached by Feb. 8, McConnell said he will schedule a vote on immigration to resolve the issue.
"Let's step back from the brink," McConnell urged his colleagues shortly before 9:30 p.m. "Let's stop victimizing the American people. And let's get back to work on their behalf."
Protecting the young immigrants — known as "Dreamers" — has been the major priority for Democrats in the government funding fight that resulted in a shutdown at midnight Friday.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was not ready to say Sunday night that a deal had been reached. However, he said that he and McConnell have made progress and will continue negotiating.
Schumer objected to a request from McConnell to hold a vote on his proposal Sunday night. That prompted McConnell to schedule it for noon Monday.
"I am happy to continue talking," Schumer said.
The hopeful sign came after a bipartisan group of more than 20 centrist lawmakers tried to forge a deal Sunday, presenting the outline of a possible agreement to leaders of both parties. The House would still have to approve any deal that the Senate reaches.
Federal workers deemed "essential" will stay on the job and military and homeland security operations will remain up and running — although about half of the civilian employees for the Department of Defense will be furloughed.
National park sites that managed to stay open through the weekend will begin closing Monday, turning away visitors from Alaska to Washington, D.C.
The government shutdown began at midnight Friday when the Senate failed to reach a deal to keep money flowing to federal agencies.
At the heart of the dispute over government funding is a debate over immigration.
Senate Democrats want any government funding bill to include a provision to prevent the deportation of about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The young immigrants have become known as "Dreamers" because of legislation called the Dream Act that would give them a pathway to citizenship.
Republicans had been arguing that the issue shouldn't be part of the government funding debate because the young immigrants are still protected under an Obama era executive order until March 5. GOP leaders have been calling on Democrats to fund the government now and take up the immigration issue later.
But Democrats have been skeptical that Republicans would actually allow a vote to protect the Dreamers before the immigrants' protection expires in March. That's when a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is set to end. Democrats see the government funding dispute as leverage to get Republicans to pass a permanent DACA law.
President Trump announced in September that he was ending the DACA program, but he gave Congress six months to try to pass legislation before the protection would expire. There have been several DACA bills introduced in both the House and Senate, but no vote has been scheduled on any of them.
The House passed a spending bill Thursday to fund the government through Feb. 16, giving lawmakers more time to work out a compromise on legislation to fund federal agencies through September. It also would have reauthorized for six years the Children's Health Insurance Program, which helps states pay for health care for low-income kids.
However, all but five Senate Democrats opposed that legislation because it did not include any protections for Dreamers — or even an assurance that the immigration issue would come to a vote in the next few weeks. Republican leaders fell 10 votes shy of the 60 they needed to bring the House bill to an up-or-down vote.
Trump and GOP congressional leaders have blamed Democrats for the shutdown, saying they are willing to shutter the government to help "illegal immigrants." Democrats have blamed the shutdown on the failure of the GOP-led Congress and the Republican president to compromise.
In an ongoing Twitter battle, Republicans have dubbed the shutdown the "Schumer shutdown" while Democrats are calling it the "Trump shutdown."