US Government shutdowns as Senate rejects funding bill
Washington/US, Jan 20: The United States has its first government shutdown on Saturday, in nearly five years after senators failed to reach a deal to keep the lights on.
An attempt by Republicans to keep the government open for one month was dismissed in a vote on Friday night after they failed to position Democratic concerns about young undocumented foreigners known as Dreamers.
Republicans required 60 votes to advance the bill but the legislation received the backing of only 50 senators. Five red-state Democrats broke ranks to support the bill while four Republicans voted against.
After the US government funding ended at midnight, the shutdown began at 12:01 am and the Senate rejected the bill.
The bill was rejected to keep the federal government operative. The House has passed the bill on Thursday.
The move is observed as a strategy of the Democrats to push Trump and the Republicans to negotiate with them on the expulsion of illegal immigrants.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader said that the blame for the shutdown should “fall entirely on Mr Trump’s shoulders”.
Schumer said he had offered to put the border wall on the table during negotiations but that was not enough for the President to make a deal.
“When Mr Trump decides he is ready to lead his party to a deal, Democrats will be ready, willing and eager to clinch it,” Schumer said.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he will seek a vote on a new bill to extend Government funding through February 8.
The shutdown, which has only happened three times in a meaningful way since 1995, will see hundreds of thousands of “non-essential” federal workers were told to stay home.
“Essential” employees, dealing with public safety and national security, will keep working.
The shutdown comes on the anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency. The US President wrote on Twitter, “not looking good for our great Military or Safety and Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy.”
The previous shutdown was in 2013 when tea party Republicans attempted to use a must-pass funding bill to try to force then-President Barack Obama to delay implementation of his marquee health care law. At the time, Trump told Fox & Friends that the ultimate blame for a shutdown lies at the top. “I really think the pressure is on the president,” he said.