US Gov't Has Shut Down as Senate Democrats Block Funding Bill


President Donald Trump on Saturday groused that he was marking his one-year anniversary in office with a government shutdown, blaming Democrats for putting him in this unpleasant position.

Republicans controlling the narrowly split chamber argue that it's the Democrats who are holding the government hostage over demands to protect "dreamer" immigrants brought to the country as children and now here illegally.

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, said a person familiar with his conversations but not authorized to discuss them publicly.

Republicans accuse opposition Democrats of forcing a shutdown over immigration, because the temporary spending measure under consideration does not include a solution for about 800,000 immigrants who face deportation if a fix is not reached by early March. After the shutdown began, Mr. Schumer lamented the failure to reach a deal with the president, and blamed Mr. Trump for abandoning an agreement that was within reach.

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A sticking point for many Democrats who voted against the spending bill is what happens to the Dreamers, undocumented migrants who were brought to the United States as children by their parents.

"We do some insane things in Washington, but this is utter madness", House Speaker Paul Ryan told his colleagues Saturday, as the House of Representatives also entered a special weekend session. "The answer is simple - their very own government shutdown", he said.

Most Democrats and some Republicans voted against ending debate and advancing to a vote on a short-term bill to fund the government for the next month in a late-night vote on a House-passed plan.

Democrats have said Republican proposals have also come up short on funding for such concerns as the opioid crisis and hurricane disaster relief for Puerto Rico.

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The vote needed the house of 100 to vote 60 in favour, but it was blocked, with 45 democrats and 5 republicans voting against it. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.

"Democrats want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy".

If the shutdown extends until Monday, nearly half of the 2 million civil federal workers will be prevented from doing their jobs.

The last USA shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted for 16 days.

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A government shutdown sees many federal employees sent home (or "furloughed") while others - including members of the military - may not be paid.