U.S. Govt. Shuts Down As Trump Talks Tough

The U.S. Government has officially shutdown at midnight Friday following the inability by the Republican and Democrats senators to reach a compromise on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme and build a wall along the Mexican border. Congress also failed to reach an agreement to a limit on how much Congress could spend on military and domestic programmes in order to keep the government open. A shutdown occurs when Congress and the President fail to sign into law 12 appropriation bills, which determine spending for specific government agencies, in order to continue providing funding for government operations.

With the situation, Federal Government employees would be forced to shut down nonessential services while essential staff at top level agencies would continue working but employees are not sure when they would get their salaries. A government shutdown could last for days or weeks as long as it takes Congressional leaders from both parties to reach an agreement to fund the government, but not months. A temporary spending bill was passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday night with 230 to 197, but a concurrent 60 votes was required in the Senate to advance a short-term spending bill to fund the government and avoid a shutdown.

However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “The overwhelming number in our caucus have said they don’t like this deal and they believe if we kick the can down the road this time we’ll be back where we started from next time. So there’s very, very strong support not to go along with their deal.” Consequently, the final vote in the Senate as at midnight ended 50 to 49, for and against respectively, short of the required 60 votes in order to break a filibuster, while Sen. John McCain was absent. Hours before the shutdown, Trump had laid the entire blame at the doorstep of Democrats.

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