As of 00:01 on 20th January 2018 the United States government has officially shut down after the Senate failed to pass a bill funding the government operations. On Friday night, the Republicans’ effort to keep the government open for one more month was rendered unsuccessful after the bill was rejected by a deficit of 60 votes. This happened amidst failure of the two houses to reach a consensus regarding the young illegal migrants known as dreamers.
Federal law requires agencies to shut down in the eventuality of the Congress failing to allocate money for its functioning, forcing hundreds of “non-essential” federal employees to go on a temporary unpaid leave. Barring essential services such as national security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation, most of the federal agencies are no longer functional.
The shutdown coincides with the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s Presidency. While he took to Twitter accusing Democrats of putting politics above the interests of the American people, Chuck Schumer, the leading Senate Democrat, blamed the president of turning down two bipartisan compromise deals and added that “a Trump shutdown will serve as a perfect encapsulation for the chaos he has unleashed”.
This is the first shutdown to happen in the history of the country while both the White House and the Congress is under the control of the same party. The last one was in 2013 and lasted for 16 days.
Sources – The Guardian, BBC