Shortly before midnight, Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected a request from the House of Representatives to appoint conferees to negotiate a funding bill before the government shut down.
When the House and Senate each have differences on their respective bills, each side appoints representatives to hammer out the differences. The House voted to send conferees to negotiate with the Senate
“We will not go to conference with a gun to our head,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor.
He described the proposal to negotiate an hour before midnight “subterfuge to satisfy the Tea Party-driven Republicans.”
He argued there was no reason for Senate Democrats to begin negotiations only an hour before funding expired because there would be little prospect of reaching a deal in time.
Reid also said he has not had any conversations with Majority Leader Boehner. “There’s no need for conversations,” he told reporters.
The Senate plans to return to session at 9:30am today.