Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing back against President Donald Trump's calls to end Senate filibusters.
When filibusters of legislation are underway, it takes 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to halt them.
Republicans now control the chamber 51-49. But strong Democratic opposition and some defecting GOP senators have kept Republicans from getting the votes needed to end the shutdown — now in its second day.
McConnell has long defended the filibuster. He says Republicans will welcome it whenever they are returned to the Senate minority.
As the Senate began a rare Sunday session, the Kentucky Republican said: "I support that right from an institutional point of view." But he also said, "The question is, when do you use it."
Trump has made repeated calls this year to end that rule, and did it again Sunday in a tweet.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says that if Democrats want to protect young immigrants in the country illegally, they should vote for a short-term spending bill.
The Wisconsin Republican says, "Open the government back up and then we'll get back to negotiating."
The federal government entered the second day of a shutdown Sunday.
Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Ryan says good-faith negotiations on an immigration deal are taking place, though Democrats take issue with that assessment.
As a citizen, Donald Trump criticized President Barack Obama during the 2013 government shutdown for failing to "lead" and getting everyone in the room.
Ryan says on the current shutdown, "you can't blame Donald Trump for the Senate Democrats shutting down the government."
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling on Republicans to "sit down and talk" with Democrats on immigration in an effort to reopen the government.
The former Democratic presidential candidate said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that the reality is that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to get anything done.
He says, "What we should be doing is negotiating."
Sanders maintains that government funding legislation must provide legal status for the roughly 700,000 young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
The White House has said it won't negotiate on immigration until Democrats vote to reopen the government.
Sanders is unapologetic about his own criticism of Republicans for shutting down the government in 2013, saying President Barack Obama wasn't going to repeal his health care law.
Vice President Mike Pence is blasting Congress for playing politics with military pay by failing to keep the government open.
Pence told U.S. soldiers stationed near the Syrian border on Sunday: "You deserve better." He says the soldiers and their families "shouldn't have to worry about getting paid."
Pence spoke to troops in the Middle East as Democrats and Republicans in Congress show few signs of progress on negotiations to end the government shutdown.
The vice president says President Donald Trump's administration will will not reopen negotiations "on illegal immigration" until Congress reopens the government and until soldiers and their families receive "the benefits and wages you've earned."
Uniformed service members and law enforcement officers are among the essential government employees who will be working without pay until the federal government reopens.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul is calling the shutdown blame game "ridiculous on both sides."
The senator from Kentucky said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union": "It's gamesmanship and it's partisanship."
Paul was among a handful of Republicans who voted with most Democrats against the House bill to keep the government open. He says he's opposed to short-term fiscal bills.
Paul called on Republican leadership in both chambers of Congress to commit to a week of debate and a vote on immigration legislation in the next month, to win over Democratic votes to reopen the government.
But Democrats are insisting that long-term funding legislation include protections for roughly 700,000 young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children — not just a vote on their status.
President Donald Trump says if the government shutdown drags on, Republicans should consider changing the rules in the Senate to make it easier to pass legislation without votes from Democrats.
But Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says that would mean the end of the Senate as the Founding Fathers envisioned it.
The shutdown is now in its second day. Lawmakers are set to return to work on Capitol Hill later Sunday but there's no sign of a possible deal.
The Republican president is floating the idea of doing away with the 60-vote threshold to advance legislation and deny the minority party the chance to stall.
Senate Republicans now hold a 51-49 edge.
Durbin tells ABC's "This Week" that "we have to acknowledge a respect for the minority."
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney is defending himself from charges of hypocrisy in his attacks on Democrats over the government shutdown, given his own role at the center of the last fiscal clash in 2013.
Mulvaney said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union: "Everything that was in the bill Democrats support and have voted for previously." He says, "This is pure politics."
Mulvaney was a conservative member of the House in 2013 when a showdown over "Obamacare" funding led to the last shutdown.
Mulvaney reiterated Sunday that the administration won't negotiate with Democrats on immigration or a longer-term spending bill until they vote to reopen the government.
He says, "They need to open the government tonight or tomorrow and then we can start talking."
Feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress are trying to dodge blame for a paralyzing standoff over immigration and showing few signs of progress on negotiations needed to end a government shutdown.
The finger-pointing played out in both the House and Senate, where lawmakers were eager to show voters they were actively working for a solution — or at least actively making the case the other party was at fault. The scene highlighted political stakes for both parties in an election-year shutdown.
Democrats refused to provide votes needed to reopen government until they strike a deal with President Donald Trump protecting young immigrants from deportation, providing disaster relief and boosting spending for opioid treatment and other domestic programs.
The Senate planned a vote by early Monday on a spending extension.