Published On: Sat, Jan 20th, 2018

US government faces shutdown as Senate rejects funding bill

The US Senate has not approved the new funds necessary to finance the government ahead of midnight, and pushed the Donald Trump government towards a partial and indefinite shutdown.

The budget proposal presented by the Republicans on Friday night got more votes in favour (50) than against (48), but they were insufficient to approve funds which required the support of 60 senators.

A deal to fund the government until February 16 was passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday to enable an extension of the negotiation period between Democrats and Republicans for the final budget, Efe reported.

However, the Democrats conditioned their support for the funding bill, on that Trump and the Republicans agree to regularise nearly 800,000 undocumented youth known as “dreamers.”

Their legal status, which these young people were granted by former US president Barack Obama, expires on March 5, the date from which their deportations could begin.

Although Trump was personally involved in the negotiations with the Democrats to secure the funds needed to keep his government functioning, it did not reap any results.

In anticipation of an imminent government shutdown, Trump cancelled his planned trip to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida mansion, where he intended to celebrate his first anniversary at the White House on Saturday.

The White House has signalled that it was preparing for a shutdown.

On Saturday, Trump wrote on his Twitter: “Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy.”

According to a report in The Guardian, federal law requires agencies to shut down if Congress has not appropriated money to fund them. In previous shutdowns, services deemed “essential”, such as the work of the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, have continued.

—IANS