Congress Misses Deadline to Prevent Shutdown

21 January, 2018, 00:14 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • AP Donald Trump Chuck Schumer

Amid disputes over the issues of immigration and border security, a bill to fund the federal government until Feb 16 failed to receive the required 60 votes.

The stopgap bill was sent to the Senate, where it faced stiff opposition from Democrats. Five Democrats crossed the aisle to back the measure, while four key Republicans opposed it.

Most Democrats in both houses are not willing to vote on Republican legislation that includes none of their priorities.

Mr Trump immediately sought to blame Democrats.

The White House's press secretary Sarah Sanders meanwhile, said Senate Democrats had "put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans".

A successful vote would have kept the administration running for another month until 16 February, preventing an immediate closure of many government offices. Trump also once tweeted that the government needed a shutdown to "fix mess". On immigration, President Trump said he'd accept whatever deal lawmakers reached, but then shot down a bipartisan proposal.




The last United States shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted for 16 days, during which many federal employees took a forced leave of absence.

On a stopover in Shannon, Vice-President Mike Pence said the shutdown was "going to take as long as it takes". The measure failed in a final procedural vote that was still open in the Senate early Saturday morning. They're seeking an even shorter extension that they think will keep the pressure on the White House to cut a deal to protect "dreamer" immigrants - who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally - before their legal protection runs out in March.

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.

A wall along the American border with Mexico was the keystone of Trump's populist, nationalist pitch to voters in he 2016 campaign and remains a point of contention in the president's relationship with Congress. Democrats have largely resisted Trump's calls for billions of dollars to build the barrier.

Given that unwillingness to stick to a deal, Democrat came up with a shutdown name of their own - which also became the top trending phrase on Twitter worldwide - the Trump Shutdown.

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