US08:02 20.01.2018(updated 08:18 20.01.2018) Get short URL
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The US government went into shutdown mode on Saturday after senators failed to pass a stopgap motion before the midnight deadline that would have extended funding through February 16.
Funding has ceased for many federal agencies, forcing hundreds of thousands of staffers to take a leave of absence. National parks and monuments will also be closed to the public, but essential services will reportedly be allowed to run.
The White House has been quick to blame the Democratic Party for the shutdown, slamming them as “obstructionist losers, not legislators.”
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” the press secretary said in a statement after the funding legislation failed to get the 60 votes needed to avoid shutdown.
Senators took a procedural vote on the proposal to limit debate in order to squeeze the House-passed bill through the Republican-controlled Congress less than two hours before midnight.
The 100-seat Senate split almost evenly on the motion, with 48 senators opposing it. Sixty votes were needed to limit the debate.
Prior to the vote, Trump tweeted, “Not looking good” and accused the Democrats who, according to him, wanted the shutdown “to help diminish the success” of the GOP-drafted tax bill.
Senior administration officials said earlier that more than one million US military personnel would continue to serve without pay. US President Donald Trump will also be able to travel for diplomatic purposes and federal IT security services would remain open.
The government of then President Barack Obama was last shut for more than two weeks in October 2013. The Office of Management and Budget estimated that roughly 850,000 employees were furloughed per day at the peak of the shutdown.