Reid rejects House Republicans' offer to appoint funding conferees (Video)

Senate Democratic leaders shortly before midnight rejected a House Republican request to appoint conferees to negotiate a short-term government funding bill.

The move made it all but certain there would be a government shutdown after midnight.

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“We will not go to conference with a gun to our head,” Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems' Florida Senate primary nears its bitter end Trump haunts McCain's reelection fight 10 most expensive House races MORE (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor. 

“The first thing that the House has to do is pass a clean six-week [continuing resolution]. They have that before them,” Reid said. “If they do that, then we’ll agree to work with Republicans on funding for the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

Less then two hours later, the House voted to go to conference, and House Republicans named conferees. 

They are Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorThe Trail 2016: On the fringe Cantor 'pleased' Trump is embracing Jeb Bush's immigration plan Trump’s Breitbart hire sends tremors through Capitol Hill MORE (Va.), Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanClinton, Trump sharpen attacks Donald Trump hasn’t moved an inch on immigration Politicians share pup pics for National Dog Day MORE (Wis.), Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (Ky.), Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (Mich.), and Reps. John Carter (Texas), Ander Crenshaw (Fla.), Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney FrelinghuysenCoal’s clout in Congress to take a hit House passes 6B defense spending bill House panel advances 5B defense bill MORE (N.J.) and Tom GravesTom GravesHouse votes to keep lawmaker pay freeze in place Lobbying World GOP chairman taking highway funding search to Atlanta MORE (Ga.).

The Senate adjourned at 12:18 a.m. with plans to come back into session at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, when U.S. financial markets are scheduled to open. The Japanese Nikkei index plunged about 160 points in the hour before the shutdown deadline but climbed back some in the following hour.

Reid said if House Republicans agree to extend government funding until Nov. 15, Senate Democrats would negotiate about funding for the rest of fiscal 2014.

Reid called the proposal to negotiate an hour before the midnight deadline when government funding expires a “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.

He said the better course is for Republicans to accept the Senate-passed stopgap, which lasts until Nov. 15.

Senate Democratic leaders showed little hope of averting a shutdown, speaking about it as a fait accompli.

As the upper chamber adjourned, Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerDems' Florida Senate primary nears its bitter end Trump was wrong: Kaine is a liberal in a moderate's clothing Trump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration MORE (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking Senate Democrat, said the only way to keep government agencies operating at full strength Tuesday would be if the House approved the Senate-passed stopgap.

“The only way to keep the government open would be for the House to pass the resolution that we’ve already sent them. Is that correct?” he asked on the Senate floor.

“That’s right,” Reid replied.

He said tourists would not be able to visit the Red Rock Canyon national conservation area outside Las Vegas Tuesday.

“Not tomorrow. No, the Republicans are shutting down places like that all over America because they don’t believe in government, and tomorrow will be a bad day for government,” he said.

A senior Senate Republican aide said Reid rejected “yet another opportunity to find a solution.”

Reid said Thursday that he had not had a single conversation with BoehnerJohn BoehnerNew Trump campaign boss took shots at Ryan on radio show Election reveals Paul Ryan to be worst speaker in U.S. history Getting rid of ObamaCare means getting rid of Hillary MORE in recent days.

“There’s no need for conversations," he told reporters.

The Washington Post reported last week that Reid urged President Obama not to set up a meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the impasse over government funding.

Senate Democrats said Monday they made a significant concession to House Republicans by agreeing to the funding levels the lower chamber set for the stopgap, which many liberals opposed.

Reid noted on the floor Monday night that Democrats repeatedly sought to set up conference negotiations over the budget for fiscal 2014, only to be blocked every time by Senate Republicans.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty Murray'BernieCare' can save ObamaCare Senate Dems make Zika a campaign issue Rubio calls for lawmakers to return to DC, pass Zika funding MORE (D-Wash.) said the GOP offer was “the latest absurd and desperate attempt by Speaker Boehner to delay the inevitable — bringing a clean continuing resolution to the floor.”

She said Republicans blocked 18 efforts to go to conference on the budget.

Some Senate Democratic aides said earlier in the evening that it appeared House Republicans were preparing to cave in and accept the Senate-passed stopgap. 

— Updated at 1:31 a.m.

— Pete Kasperowicz contributed to this story.