Eli Ridder | WASHINGTON
The United States Senate is set to vote again Monday at noon after a Friday deadline wasn’t reached for passing a spending bill to keep federal government agencies funded.
The Senate didn’t garner the 60 votes it needed to prevent the shutdown, with five Republicans and five Democrats voting with the other party, resulting in only 50 to 49 result in favor.
Most Democrats have refused to back a temporary budget agreement until immigration reform is considered, especially in regards to children of illegal immigrants, or “Dreamers”.
In March, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows for offspring of those who arrived in the U.S. illegally to stay in the country.
There are some 700,000 of them, according to the federal government.
What happens in a shutdown?
Federal agencies have been largely shut down with the exception of essential departments, services and individuals.Services such as national security, post mail, air traffic control, medical emergency services, prisons, taxation, energy production and the military are largely unaffected by a shutdown.The last government shutdown in 2013 under former President Barack Obama sent about 800,000 civil federal employees home out of a total of 2.1 million.The Office of Management and Budget’s Mick Mulvaney said Friday morning that national parks would stay open, but last shutdown, which lasted 13 days, saw parks and monuments close.Diplomatic services may be affected in regards to visa and passport processing, according to U.S. media.
The Senate voted 50 in favor to the spending bill to 49 against, failing to reach the 60 needed to pass it on Friday. Five Democrats broke party lines and voted with Republicans in favor of the temporary budget, and five Republicans voted against the legislation.Press Secretary Sarah Sanders sent out a release shortly before the deadline passed at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday saying the administration will not negotiate the status of the young immigrant “Dreamers” program “while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands”.It is the first time in modern history that a U.S. government where a single party ruling the House of Representatives, Senate and the presidency has been forced into a shutdown.”This afternoon, in my heart, I thought we might have a deal tonight,” said Senate Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a speech criticizing Republican dealmaking after the midnight deadline.Schumer said Democrats gave their strongest effort in coming to an agreement to keep the federal government open, but largely blamed a stubborn Trump and what Schumer described as his lack of leadership for Congressional Republicans.Schumer said the current administration was “not capable of governing”, but he held out hope for some who could work in bipartisan efforts.The White House made clear earlier in the evening that U.S. President Donald Trump would not be available to the press that evening, but he responded over the weekend by blaming Democrats using the “Schumer Shutdown” phrase. The shutdown comes on the first year anniversary of the 45th president’s inauguration last year.
Image of Capitol Hill from TripSavvy.