Government Shuts Down After Short-Term Spending Bill Fails

With lawmakers unable to reach an agreement on a short-term spending bill, the federal government shut down at midnight on Friday.

The shutdown came after a spending bill approved by House Republicans failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate on a largely party line vote of 50 to 49.

The bill would have funded the government through February 16th, reauthorized the popular Children’s Health Insurance program for six years and delayed some Obamacare taxes.

Democratic Senators Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., joined with most Republicans voting in favor of advancing the bill.

Meanwhile, Republican Senators Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ken., voted against the motion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., changed his vote to ‘no’ in a procedural move to allow the bill to be brought up again later.

The shutdown is largely due to a disagreement over whether to include protections for young illegal immigrants brought to the country as children in the spending bill.

Democrats have demanded the inclusion of protections for the illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, while Republicans have argued the issue should be addressed separately.

Both sides are blaming each other for the government shutdown, which marks the first official shutdown since October of 2013.

In a post to Twitter, President Donald Trump claimed Democrats wanted a shutdown in order to diminish the impact of the Republican tax cuts.

“Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” Trump tweeted.

He added, “They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!”

McConnell also accused Democrats of playing irresponsible political games, arguing that the shutdown was completely avoidable.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has argued the blame for the shutdown lies with Trump.

“It’s almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “And now we will have one. And the blame should crash entirely on President Trump’s shoulders.”

“This will be called the Trump shutdown,” he added. “This will be called the Trump shutdown because there is no one, no one, who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in than President Trump.”

Lawmakers will reportedly continue to hold negotiations over the weekend in an effort to limit the duration of the shutdown.

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