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US Government on Shut Down as President Trump Celebrates One year in Office

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The US government has started to shut down after Congress failed to overcome a bitter standoff over spending and immigration, marking a choatic end to Donald Trump’s first year as president, Telegraph UK reports.
Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter of a century.
Social Security and most other safety net programmes are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, two million federal employees will be furloughed – given leave of absence.

 

Most staff in the departments of housing, environment, education and commerce will stay at home. Half of workers in the treasury, health, defence and transportation departments will also not be going to work next week.
National parks and monuments face closure while visa and passport processing could be delayed.
Essential services that protect “life or human property” will continue, including national security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation.

 

Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure – and to broadcast that they were at work as the shutdown commenced. It seemed likely each side would try forcing votes aimed at making the other party look culpable for shuttering federal agencies.
White House blames Democrats
After hours of closed-door meetings and phone calls, the Senate scheduled its late-night vote on a House-passed plan. It gained 50 votes to proceed to 48 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster.
The president watched the results from the White House residence, dialing up allies and affirming his belief that Democrats would take the blame for the shutdown, a source familiar with his conversations said.

 

The White House lashed out at Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, blaming him for the shutdown “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders declared.
 
“Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans.
 
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” she said.
Schumer hits back
Mr Schumer fought back, however, blaming the president for leading him to believe a deal was possible on a measure to prevent the expulsion of undocumented migrants who arrived in the country as children.
“Every American knows the Republican Party controls White House, the Senate, the House – it is their job to keep the government open. It is their job to work with us to move forward,” Mr Schumer told the Senate.
“They control every ounce of the process and it is their responsibility to govern and here they have failed,” he declared.

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