US govt faces shutdown after Senate rejects funding bill
The US government on Saturday shut down after a period of five years as Congress failed to overcome standoff over spending and immigration.
The US government shutdown in nearly five years after senators voted to reject a House-passed bill that would have funded the government until February 16.
According to The Hill, the bill needed 60 votes to pass and it was well short of that number with 48 senators voting against it.
Only five Democrats voted in favour of the bill, while Republicans were also not united as Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) also voted against it.
New York Senator and Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said the blame for the shutdown should fall entirely on Trump’s shoulders, Reuters reported. The White House in a statement blamed shutdown on Democrats calling them “obstructionist losers, not legislators” accusing them of blocking the bill to avert shutdown. “We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” the statement said after the funding legislation failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle.
In shutdowns, nonessential government employees are furloughed, or placed on temporary unpaid leave. Workers deemed essential, including those dealing with public safety and national security, keep working.
After previous government shutdowns, Congress passed measures to ensure that all unpaid workers received retroactive pay. The Trump administration would support a similar measure, a senior administration official said on Friday.