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US Government Shuts Down Following Senate Vote

WASHINGTON: The United States government in the wee hours of Saturday was shut down after the Senate failed to make consensus over annual budget for 2018. 

Until the midnight deadline, it was unclear whether the Senate would succeed to reach an agreement on key issues of the budget bill.

It was unclear which way the vote would go as the midnight deadline approached, with Republicans and Democrats split on key issues. The two parties held an eleventh-hour meeting, but no progress was made.  The bill to fund the government until 16 February did not receive the required 60 votes, was blocked by opposition Democrats.

Earlier, the House of Representatives had passed the bill with 230-197 votes on Thursday night to extend funding until February, but the bill failed the Senate test.

This was only the fourth government closure in 25 years. The last shutdown occurred in 2013, during Obama rule and lasted for 16 days.

The shut down will cause close down of many government offices but the key departments including national security, post, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity production will still run.

Experts are blaming President Donald Trump’s disinterest in the matter as he was more concerned about the one-year celebration of his inauguration anniversary at the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in Florida.

Trump, however, blamed Democrats ‘want shut down in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy.’

 

Why the Deadlock?

The Democrats’ attempt save more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children from deportation was the key reason for the deadlock.

Obama administration introduced a programme for these immigrants, calling them ‘Dreamers.’ Under this programme, the Dreamers were granted temporary legal status under. But, Trump in September 2016 announced to end the programme and directed the Congress to devise a replacement policy until March, tough on undocumented immigrants.

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