Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Blame game begins after Senate fails to stop shutdown

Blame game begins after Senate fails to stop shutdown

"Democrats are far more concerned with illegal immigrants than they are with our great military or safety at our risky southern border", he said.

Trump accused Democrats of choosing "unchecked illegal immigration" over the military, and Democrats say he has not kept his word to find a deal to protect immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.

The immediate impact of the government shutdown was eased somewhat by its timing, starting on a weekend when most government employees normally do not work anyway.

If lawmakers don't show progress toward a resolution soon, some federal employees will begin to receive furlough notices as soon as Saturday, though administration officials could not offer an overall number. It's dealing with greedy, spoiled children when it comes to the Democrats. The Senate is scheduled to convene at noon, but it is unclear when senators might vote Saturday - if at all.

In a surprise move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will put up for a vote a short-term funding measure to keep the government running through February 8, a compromise path that Sen. But it does not have any substantive changes on immigration or long-term spending, which would be key to a longer resolution. Instead of punting and passing a fourth continuing resolution, President Trump and Republicans could choose to sit down and write a real budget with Democrats this weekend, but they are refusing.

The Senate minority leader said he believed he was close to striking a deal when he met with Trump earlier on Friday after "reluctantly" agreeing to fund a border wall in exchange for protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients. Trump tweeted Friday evening.

"Senate Democrats own the "Schumer Shutdown"," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement early Saturday morning.

Four Republicans joined most Democrats in killing the measure.

Senators continued to gather in tight groups on the Senate floor as Republican leaders held the vote open past midnight, locked in discussion as government funding lapsed.

The procedural vote that was held open could have happened hours earlier, but McConnell opted to force this late-night vote, upping the pressure on Democrats. John McCain, R-Ariz., absent from the vote.

Air Force cancels games due to government shutdown
So while the military continues, things like academy athletics could be considered "non-essential" and be postponed or canceled. In anticipation of the shutdown, Air Force athletic officials sought exempt status for a large enough staff to keep playing.

On the anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration, the federal government has shut down for the first time since 2013, after failing to come to an agreement over a funding proposal by Friday's deadline.

Republicans branded the confrontation a "Schumer shutdown", after New York's Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader.

Shortly before midnight, the White House released a statement blasting Democrats as "obstructionist losers". "The government shutdown was 100 percent avoidable.completely avoidable", argued Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans. But most Senate Democrats refused to support the bill, demanding support for young immigrants covered by DACA as well. Serious talks and compromise by the Republican leadership and the President could have avoided this self-inflicted crisis - and still can.

The semi-regular threat of a shutdown is one of the most visible signs of the partisanship and disfunction of USA politics.

"What we have just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political gains", the GOP leader said.

"This shutdown was avoidable". It gained 50 votes to proceed to 49 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster.

Trump also pushed back against a talking point from Democrats, who said the GOP controls both chambers of Congress and the White House and is therefore responsible for the shutdown. Trump appears to want something he sees as tougher on immigration, though it's not clear specifically what.

That immediately raised Republicans' suspicions on Capitol Hill that Trump might be tempted to cut a deal with his fellow New Yorker - much as he did in the early stages of a September standoff - that would undercut the GOP negotiating strategy and produce a deal that congressional conservatives could not stomach.

"President Trump, if you are listening, I am urging you: Please take "yes" for an answer", Schumer said. Democrats want a DACA deal first. Essential services, such as the military, border patrol and the post office, will continue to run, but employees will not be paid until the stand-off is over.

The military's ongoing military operations will not be impacted, though almost 1.3 million active-duty service members would not be paid until after the shutdown ends. Hundreds of thousands of government employees will be put on temporary unpaid leave, including numerous White House's 1,700 workers.

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