12:30 a.m. — It’s official
U.S. House follows Senate lead and passes stopgap bill to fund government into next week; Obama to sign, Meredith to sleep. Goodnight!

12:26 a.m.
Boehner calls deal “as good as we could get.”

12:15 a.m. — House votes
The House is now taking a roll call vote so each member will have a recorded “yay” or “nay” vote. I expect a number of conservative Republicans to vote against the measure, likely echoing conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s sentiments delivered Friday: “If this deal cuts any less than $61 Billion there will be hell to pay.”

The continuing resolution will appropriately expire on Tax Day.

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein declares tonight’s compromise “A Deal Conservatives Should Be Happy About”

12:05 a.m. (Saturday) — What was won
The Speaker’s office has released this comprehensive list of items included in tonight’s budget deal.

Also: Sen. McConnell’s office notes that in February, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., branded $32 billion in cuts “extreme”; Reid called them “draconian.”

11:57 p.m. — Rand Paul votes ‘Nay’
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., cast his vote against tonight’s short-term budget fix agreement. In a statement released shortly after the voice vote, Paul said he objects to the budget agreement because it doesn’t set the Government on a path to fixing its “spending and debt problems.”

11:54 p.m.
From the Speaker’s office: Agreement also denies additional funding for the IRS for more agents who would enforce the Obama administration’s agenda. Also, early reports suggest DC voucher language passed by the House is included budget deal — that’s a win for Boehner and the GOP.

11:41 p.m. — Funding for abortion?
As I noted earlier, a ban on funding for Planned Parenthood will not be included in the final FY 2011 budget deal. However, the Senate Majority Leader has agreed to hold a separate vote on the issue. Included in the deal, however, is a ban on funds for abortions in the District of Columbia — a measure likely to throw Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton into another tizzy.

11:28 p.m. — Where’s Nancy?
We’ve seen House Speaker John Boehner being one of the most pivotal figures in this budget debate, but where’s his Democratic counterpart, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi?

As the budget debate unfolded in Washington Friday, Pelosi was speaking at Tufts University, encouraging Republicans to “take back your party”:

11:24 p.m. — Report: Conservative Republicans unhappy with deal
Boehner may need to rely on Democrats to get the deal passed in the House. Via HuffPo:

Rep. Jim Jordan, who leads the conservative Republican Study Committee, told HuffPost he does not think House Speaker and fellow Ohioan John Boehner will be able to pass the final funding deal through the House without votes from Democrats.

Boehner would need 218 Republican votes to pass the House majority threshold, which he said earlier this week was his goal. But given the concessions in the final deal, that may be impossible.

“218 Republicans? I don’t think so,” Jordan said.

Within the Republican Study Committee, where many members have said they would vote down any bill that did not include riders to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood or health care reform, Jordan predicted mixed support.

“You’re going to see a significant number of Republican Study Committee members vote for the deal, and you’re going to see a significant number vote against the deal,” he said.

From the sounds of McConnell’s comments, not all Senate Republicans were thrilled with the deal either. In return, I’d expect the GOP to call for much deeper cuts when it comes time to raise the government’s debt ceiling. “This is an important step,” McConnell said tonight, “but just the beginning.”

11:19 p.m.
By voice vote, though not unanimous, Senate just passed 6-day short-term funding bill to keep government open and operating.

The House will likely try to bring the deal up through unanimous consent then have a normal roll call vote.

11:12 p.m.
In a joint statement, Boehner and Reid say the short-term spending measure will contain $2-billion of the cuts agreed to in the long-term budget deal. The short term bill will keep the government up & operating through Thursday, while Congress turns agreement into legislative language & votes on it.

Worth a read: Why the budget deal happened (or why Congress is like a college kid)

11:05 p.m.
President Barack Obama says he’s pleased to announce the federal government would continue to be “open for business” after Democrat and Republican members of Congress reached a deal to avoid a government shutdown this evening.

The ultimate deal will likely include just $38.5 billion in spending cuts for FY 2011. The pressure will now be on Republicans to make good on their pledge to seriously cut spending when Congress reconvenes to debate Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal.

Now on deck: an even bigger fight over whether to raise the national debt ceiling…

10:55 p.m. — We have a deal!
House Speaker Boehner just announced that congressional Democrats and Republicans have agreed to disagree. A stopgap deal has been reached which Boehner says will cut spending and continue to keep the government running. Additionally, Boehner said he expects the House to vote yet tonight on the deal to ensure the government will continue to operate.

Camped outside the GOP conference room, National Journal provides more inside details:

House Speaker John Boehner outlined the parameters of a long-term funding deal, telling his members in a closed-door meeting, “This is the best deal we could get out of them,” according to a lawmaker in the room who asked not to be identified.

The deal is still not official, Boehner cautioned, but in a sign things are coming to a close, the House is preparing for a 5-6-day short-term continuing resolution with $3 billion in cuts, he told members, according to the lawmaker.

The riders that would have repealed funding for the Obama health care law and Planned Parenthood have been scrapped from the deal, but Reid has agreed to let the issues come to a vote in the Senate in the near future — an act he’s previously rejected.

Senate Reid has yet to make a statement and President Obama is expected to speak shortly.

10:12 p.m. — Is it too late for a deal?
Any deal now needs to be put into legislation and voted on. With just under 2 hours to go until the deadline and no sign of a deal, is it even possible to avoid a shutdown tonight? The best option to avoid a shutdown tonight is to quickly pass a “stopgap” spending measure to fund the government for a few more days until details are completely flushed out and a vote can be taken.

The official schedule of Senate business has been extended to 11:15 p.m. ET, at which point Senator Reid may deliver a statement on the budget from the Senate floor.

10:04 p.m.
With any sort of deal yet to be announced, Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips vows to oppose House Speaker John Boehner in his next election:

Live Blog: Will the government shut down tonight?

Hours ahead of the negotiations deadline, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library announced it would be closed until further notice:

Live Blog: Will the government shut down tonight?

9:30 p.m.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to take to the floor at 10:30 p.m. EST. With all eyes on DC, negotiations continue. The GOP conference is reportedly meeting at 9:45 and Rep. Eric Cantor’s office insists there is still no deal.

Meanwhile, one GOP Senator appears to have jumped the gun. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., posted a statement to his website that referred to “the three-day budget agreement reached by bipartisan negotiators in the Senate and House of Representatives that prevents a shutdown of the federal government.”

7:28 p.m.
The “riders” issue “has been resolved,” tweets NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd.

Live Blog: Will the government shut down tonight?

This report likely means that plans to defund Planned Parenthood are off the table (at least in the short term) and the GOP is using the issue to negotiate last-minute spending cuts.

4 1/2 hours to go…

7:08 p.m.
Is there a temporary spending compromise in the works? CNN’s Lisa Desjardins tweeted some hints:

Live Blog: Will the government shut down tonight?

5:57 p.m.
Cancelled: no Colonial Williamsburg getaway for the Obamas.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is weighing in on the potential shutdown:

“The president has to recognize the election of 2010 had some very significant meaning, you don’t have 63 seats change hands and not realize there was a signal sent for a dramatically less expensive government”…”How much heat does there have to be begin to realize that he’s gonna have to change the direction that he wants to take the government in?”

h/t HAP

5:07 p.m.
Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern says he favors a “leaner government,” but Republicans want a “meaner government.”

“I personally think that the White House has caved too much on their demands,” McGovern told The Huffington Post. “There’s a human face behind some of these cuts. I do lot of work on hunger and nutrition issues. Cutting WIC [Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children], that has consequences. That’s here at home. Domestically, Rajiv Shah, the head of USAID said if the cuts they’re insisting on this year go through, 70,000 children will die. I mean, there’s a human face behind these things.”

“I want a leaner government. I don’t want a meaner government,” McGovern said, accusing Republicans of “creating a meaner government.”

“Unfortunately, what the White House is doing is — I think the White House should have drawn a line in the sand. When it comes to helping poor people, vulnerable people, that we’re not going to turn our backs,” he said.

4:23 p.m.
Are we nearing a compromise?

National Journal’s Major Garrett suggests that Speaker Boehner’s silence on Planned Parenthood funding may signal a willingness to compromise on the issue. Instead, Boehner has stressed that Democrat and Republican negotiations now hinge on spending cuts, not social issues.

Meanwhile, reports are circulating around Capitol Hill that Boehner thinks a deal will be reached by the end of today.

It’s likely in the GOP’s best interest to avoid a shutdown. As the WSJ noted Friday morning, “Republicans will have more credibility over fights that really matter if they show they’re willing to compromise now.” That being said, Democrats should prepare for lot ‘o compromises when it comes to debating Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget plan.

4:18 p.m.
The largest union for government workers filed suit in federal court Friday against the Obama administration, alleging that “hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be required to work during a shutdown, and there’s not guarantee that Congress will keep the administration’s promise to pay those employees once the shutdown is over.”

In a statement, John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) said the administration’s claim that government workers deemed necessary for the “safety of human life or the protection of property” can work in a shutdown is bogus.

“The Constitution requires an appropriation by Congress before federal dollars can be spent, no exceptions,” Gage said.

3:49 p.m.
The threat of shutdown is shedding light on America’s dependence on government. See my thoughts here.

Also, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is encouraging his GOP counterparts to drop efforts to cut Planned Parenthood’s federal funding in order to avoid a shutdown:


2:52 p.m.
Sarah Palin is standing with our troops:

Yesterday the House passed H.R. 1363, which funds our Department of Defense and our military for the rest of the year at their current levels. It allows for the continuation of current military operations, which is pretty important when you’re fighting three wars. It also funds the government for another week and cuts $12 billion in wasteful spending. So why would the Commander in Chief declare that he will veto this? Why would he play politics at the expense of our troops who are putting everything on the line to protect us? Memo to the President: I doubt the insurgents will stop and wait for a government shutdown to end before resuming actions. You need to fund our troops, sir.

2:39 p.m.
Report: Amtrack will not shutdown if government does

1:16 p.m.
National news media is freaking out about potential government shutdown.

…They’re also playing the blame game: “adult” Obama vs. “childish” Republicans:

1:00 p.m.
National Journal is tracking federal employee furloughs here… and in case you were worried, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne reassures readers that animals at the National Zoo will be fed even if there is a shutdown.

12:51 p.m.
Looking for an expert opinion? The Heritage Foundation is having a live chat to discuss the budget stand-off.

12:45 p.m.
Phew: government shutdown won’t stop DC’s Cherry Blossom parade!

11:53 a.m.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is pressing her Republican colleagues to drop Planned Parenthood funding ban from their continuing resolution proposal, stressing that continuing pay for American troops is more important.

“I think that we should have a clean bill that makes sure that the paychecks get to the troops on time,” the Tea Party favorite said on CNN. “After all, now that President Obama has us engaged in a third war in Libya, I think it’s imperative that troops not pay a price and none of the families back home should worry whether or not they’re getting a check.”

11:34 a.m.
Which is a higher priority for the White House: continuing pay for military personnel or continued funding of Planned Parenthood?

11:16 a.m.
Speaker John Boehner just delivered a very pointed, succinct statement to announce there’s still no deal among Democrat and Republican budget negotiators. His tone and brevity suggest they aren’t close to one either.

Rebuffing suggestions from Democrats that funding for Planned Parenthood is the only thing preventing a deal, Boehner insisted overall spending differences remain unresolved. Video via Right Scoop:

10:46 a.m.
After insisting the GOP’s proposal just won’t do, Dems plan their own short-term continuing resolution.

Until the current stand-off ends, Rep. Barbara Lee will not eat.

Also: A 27-year veteran confronted Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., at a town hall meeting last night about why he was politicking instead of working on a budget deal… it got a little heated.

10:24 a.m.
Reuters reports that Democrat and Republican budget negotiators are stuck on $6.5 billion.

10:00 a.m.
Pelosi says defunding Planned Parenthood = GOP “war on women.”

9:54 a.m.
Have questions about how a government shutdown might affect you? The Washington Post has a comprehensive guide.

9:16 a.m.
What will we do without .gov websites?

Bars on Capitol Hill plan to offer “shutdown specials”

9:05 a.m.
While I’m sure there are a number of issues being debated, Democrats claim funding for Planned Parenthood is preventing a budget deal from moving forward. “They blink on Title X or else they force a shutdown,” one Democratic aide told the Huffington Post.

Meanwhile, President Obama has reportedly set a 10:30 p.m. deadline for Republicans and Democrats to present a compromise today. At the same time, the Obama family is planning a trip to Colonial Williamsburg this weekend for another vacation.

Will the GOP’s plan backfire?

9:00 a.m.
Friday’s here and there’s still no deal:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Uncomfortably close to a deadline, President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders have only hours to avert a Friday midnight government shutdown that all sides say would inconvenience millions of people and damage a still fragile economy.

Obama said he still hoped to announce an agreement on Friday but did not have “wild optimism.”