Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s 1-year festivities

Americans awoke on Saturday (Sunday NZ Time) to learn that bickering politicians in Washington had failed to keep their government in business, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the anniversary of US President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

In his speech after efforts to reach a Senate compromise broke down, Schumer took the White House’s spin and reversed it, branding the episode the “Trump shutdown”. Vice President Mike Pence left Friday night for a three-country trip to the Middle East, and will not be immediately available for negotiations to end the shutdown or to break a tie vote in the Senate.

Mr Trump blamed Democrat lawmakers in a Twitter post early on Saturday.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, however, cast the shutdown as “a massive failure of leadership” on behalf of Trump and congressional Republicans – something he also urged voters to remember as they head to the voting booth this November.

“It is kind of hard to understand”. He accused the Obama White House of purposefully closing high-profile federal sites to reap political gain.

The White House has already stated it will not negotiate on immigration until Democrats reopen the government, and Ryan also criticized the Democrats’ position.

Republicans and Democrats appear caught in a catch-22.

“Non-essential” employees can be considered employees who work at museums, zoos, as well as in government bureaus like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the US Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to reports.

Arguing that Trump’s predecessors “weaponised” that shutdown, Mulvaney said his budget office would direct agencies to work to mitigate the impact this time. The general impression was of a political system and a governing class that is simply not up to the task of dealing with the polarizing issues facing the American people.

Huddled negotiations by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in the last minutes before midnight were unsuccessful, and the USA government technically ran out of money at midnight.

“Republicans who control Congress and President (Donald) Trump have provoked a government shutdown by refusing to work in a bipartisan way on a funding agreement that protects the middle class, retiree pensioners and 800,000 people who receive health care through community health centers”.

Last-minute negotiations crumbled when Senate Democrats blocked a four-week extension.

As congressional leaders continue to struggle to strike a spending deal that can pass both chambers, House Republicans said Saturday they are open to a three-week stopgap spending bill that will help bring enough Senate Democrats on board to pass a continuing resolution (CR) and reopen the government.

Republicans counter-offered with a delay until February 8, which Democrats rejected.

In the late-night vote blocking the bill preventing a shutdown, five Democrats from states Trump won in the 2016 election voted to keep government functioning.

Republicans in Congress passed stop-gap funding legislation on Thursday but their colleagues in the Senate needed support from 10 Democrats to pass it there.

One year into the Trump presidency, Democrats can’t shut down the booming Trump economy so they shut down the government instead. “Yet it’s like a two-year-olds temper tantrum to say, I am going to take my toys and go home because I’m upset about something else”, Short said.

Democrats demanded that immigration be included in the funding bill.

Trump called Schumer and went over the objections to pieces of the immigration discussion by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and congressional Republicans. Republicans are not willing to consider that, one source said.

According to the Hill, Schumer drew a comparison to the wobbly gelatin dessert, saying, “Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jello”. Incumbents are on the ballot in several Republican-heavy states, including North Dakota, Montana and Missouri.

She and other Democrats said Saturday that they want “parity” on spending increases for defense and domestic programs such as opioid addiction and community health centers.

White House says it prepares for gov't shutdown