Government shuts down as Trump feuds with Democrats

U.S. | 1/20/2018 | Reuters Editorial
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The world’s most powerful government shut down on Saturday after President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress failed to reach a deal on funding for federal agencies, highlighting America’s deep political divisions.

For the first time since October 2013 - when a similar standoff that lasted 16 days kept only essential agency operations intact - federal workers were being told to stay at home or in some cases to work without pay until new funding is approved.

Shutdown - Year - Day - Trump - President

The shutdown began a year to the day after Trump was sworn in as president.

His inability to cut a deal despite having a Republican majority in both houses of Congress marks arguably the most debilitating setback for his crisis-plagued administration.

Twitter - Post - Saturday - Trump - Democrat

In a Twitter post early on Saturday, Trump blamed Democrat lawmakers.

“Democrats are far more concerned with illegal immigrants than they are with our great military or safety at our dangerous southern border,” he said. “They could have easily made a deal but decided to play shutdown politics instead.”

Democrats - Bill - Government - Funding - Protections

Democrats had insisted that any bill to renew government funding also contain permanent protections for approximately 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants who were brought illegally into the United States as children.

Last week, Trump rejected a bipartisan Senate deal that would have accomplished that as well as hand the White House $2.7 billion in new money for immigration enforcement at America’s borders.

Statement - Minutes - Friday - Midnight - Deadline

In a statement issued minutes before Friday’s midnight deadline for a funding deal, Trump’s White House also held the Democrats responsible. “We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” it said.

The shutdown was cemented when the Senate, meeting late into Friday night, blocked a bill to maintain the federal government’s funding through Feb. 16.

Vote

The vote was 50-49, well short of the 60 needed in the...
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