WASHINGTON — The first legislative moves after the federal government officially shut down were familiar ones, as the Senate moved Tuesday morning to rebuff a procedural move by the House.
As the volleys between the two chambers resumed, signs of the shutdown were visible on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in Washington.
Many congressional staff members, declared “nonessential,” were absent, but long lines still persisted at security checkpoints.
On the Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments and museums were closed to tourists.
After mocking Republicans in a midnight speech for having “lost their minds,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) offered little comment as the Senate gaveled into session after 9:30 am EDT. He called for an immediate vote on the resolution passed by the Republican-led House. That resolution sought to set up a House-Senate conference committee to consider what to do next, a move Senate Democrats called unnecessary.
The result was another party-line vote, 54-46, to kill the House proposal.
The only allusion to the current state of affairs came from the Senate’s chaplain, retired Rear Adm. Barry Black, who prayed to “strengthen our weakness, replacing cynicism with faith and cowardice with courage."