MNA International Desk: The US federal government shut down at midnight Friday as senators continued to scramble to reach a deal to fund the government.
This is the first modern government shutdown with Congress and the White House controlled by the same party, and it comes on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Trump’s White House however immediately blamed Democrats for the shutdown. “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 Sanders said in a statement moments before midnight.
“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators,” she added.
Trump and his representatives had been labeling the event the “Schumer shutdown” after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, but the New York Democrat was quick to call it “the Trump shutdown.”
“It’s almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown,” Schumer said from 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. 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.”
Sixty votes were needed to advance the bill to keep the government open for four weeks. Republicans only control 51 seats, so GOP leaders needed Democratic votes to cross that threshold. It failed 50-49.