The U.S. government has shut down amid futile efforts to find a last-minute spending deal that would have kept the government open. The Senate voted by a 50-49 count shortly after midnight this morning to reject a continuing resolution that would have kept the government functioning for four more weeks.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to offer a new continuing resolution that will fund the government for just three weeks, but no final decision has been made on when that vote might take place. “What we have just witnessed on the floor was a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political games,” McConnell said. “The government shutdown was 100 percent avoidable, completely avoidable.”
In a statement, the White House laid the blame for the shutdown squarely at Democrats’ feet. “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.”
But Democratic Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said that only the president is to blame for the shutdown. “There is no one … who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump,” Schumer said.
Democrats want a solution to the DACA problem included in any spending bill that keeps the government open. Republicans have vowed to negotiate the program but view the true deadline as March 5, when the program expires.