Washington: The US government officially shutdown on Saturday for the first time in five years after the Senate rejected a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government running, marking a chaotic end to Donald Trump’s first year as president.
Military will still go to work, the border will still be patrolled, fire folks will be fighting the fires and the parks will be open. But in each of these cases people will not be paid, Director of Office of Management of Budget Mick Mulvaney said.
The shutdown began at 12:01 am (local time) after a few Republicans joined Democrats in blocking the crucial measure would have provided short-term funding for the Pentagon and other federal agencies.
Trump blamed the Democrats for the shutdown which comes exactly a year after he was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.
“Dems want a shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the tax cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy,” he said.
“This is the one year anniversary of my presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present,” Trump said.
“DemocratShutdown. Democrats are holding our military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can’t let that happen!” he said in another tweet indicating that he has toughened his position against the Opposition Democratic party.
“For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to win more Republicans in 2018 election! We can then be even tougher on crime (and border), and even better to our military and veterans!” Trump said.
Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until February 16 did not receive the required 60 votes. The Senate voted 50-48 to block the stopgap funding measure.
While the Republcian party enjoys a majority of 51 votes in the 100-member Senate, a procedural issue that requires 60 votes for legislations to move forward prevented the shirt-term spending bill pass through the Senate.
The short-term spending bill was passed by the House on Thursday.
This is part of the Democrats strategy to force President Trump and the Republicans to negotiate with them on illegal immigrants who are facing deportation.
The effect of the shutdown would be felt most from Monday when the federal government employees would not be able to join for their work and be forced to stay at home without pay.
It is estimated that more than 800,000 federal employees would be furloughed. Only the essential services would be open. The last time that a government shutdown happened was in 2013.
The White House said it has taken measures so that there is less impact of the government shutdown, but hundreds and thousands of federal government employees are now forced to stay at home till the time the Congress passes the short-term spending bill.
For this to happen, the Republican, the Democrats and the White House need to agree on a deal.
US Vice President Mike Pence, who is on a trip to the Middle East, said that his administration worked in good faith to put a bipartisan deal on the table that would strengthen our borders, end chain migration, eliminate the visa lottery, and deal compassionately with DACA.