Congress meets Saturday in effort to end government shutdown
Congress meets Saturday in effort to end government shutdown
Night falls on the U.S. Capitol on second day of the federal shutdown as lawmakers negotiate behind closed doors in Washington Sunday Jan. 21 2018
21 January, 2018, 09:59
Before Friday's vote, numerous Democrats and Republicans criticized the proposal to extend government funding only temporarily.
The government had been running on three consecutive temporary funding bills since the new fiscal year began in October. "Schumer wasn't going to be able to get to 'yes, '" said Mike Steel, a former aide to Republican House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan.
The deal included funding for Trump's border wall, said Schumer, in exchange for the codification of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program.
Republicans said if Democrats wanted to avoid shutting down the children's health care plan, they could have voted for the bill, which extended it for six years.
One idea floated by Republicans was to renew government funding through February 8 to end the shutdown, while working to resolve other issues, including immigration, military and non-military spending, disaster relief and some healthcare matters.
However, all but five Senate Democrats voted against the bill Friday night, effectively guaranteeing a shutdown since 60 votes were needed to overcome a filibuster-Republicans hold a slim majority with 51 seats, and all but four of them voted for the bill.
Protestors hoisted placards with messages including "Fight like a girl" and "A woman's place is in the White House" and "Elect a clown, expect a circus".
Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, told reporters on Capitol Hill: "We are anxious to get a resolution on DACA". During the 2013 shutdown, President Barack Obama predicted the confrontation would "break the fever" driving Republican opposition - ultimately to no avail.
Up to that point, Democrats largely held together to block the funding legislation, digging in on their insistence that the spending bill include protections for some 700,000 younger immigrants facing deportation.
"That's the price of leadership", he said.
The shutdown began a year to the day after Trump was sworn in as president. But "even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal", Schumer said, accusing Trump and Republicans of "rooting for a shutdown" which would "crash entirely" on the president's shoulders.
In 2013, when he criticized Obama over another shutdown mess, he said: "Well, if you say who gets fired it always has to be the top".
"I'm frustrated and we're trying to find any way possible and any measure and any strategy and pressure to bring our colleagues on the Democrat side to the table", Jodey Arrington, Republican congressman from Texas district 19, said.
The White House and congressional Republicans blamed Democrats for what it called the "Schumer Shutdown" - named for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY - accusing them of valuing illegal immigrants ahead of lawful Americans.
At the US Capitol, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a stinging portrayal of Trump as an unreliable negotiating partner, saying the two sides came close to an agreement several times only to have Trump back out at the urging of anti-immigration conservatives.
Trump has canceled plans to travel to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend, where he was set to have a gala fundraiser Saturday to commemorate his inauguration one year ago.
Despite frantic meetings that ran through midnight, a deal could not be reached.
Forty-eight per cent of Americans will blame the President and the Republican Party for a government showdown, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll on Friday; 28 per cent said they would blame the Democrats; 18 per cent said they would blame both.
The reference to "unlawful immigrants" was in stark contrast to earlier statements, including one in September in which Trump proclaimed, "We love the Dreamers".
Democrats and many Republicans want to provide permanent legal status leading to citizenship for Dreamers.
The shutdown of the United States federal government from yesterday indicates not only political partisanship in a divided country, but also deeper dysfunction in government.
The State Department warned that it could have problems processing passports. But without a quick deal, most day-to-day operations in the federal government will be disrupted.
There were fears that all U.S. offices overseas handling visa issuance and federal regulatory agencies, including those overseeing grants and contracts will remain closed while the shutdown lasts. Parks and monuments remained open in the US capital and on the National Mall preparations were under way for a second multi-city women's rights march.
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Forty people were evacuated from the smouldering building and a rescue operation was still underway late on Saturday. The Foreign Office says it has not yet been made aware if any British nationals have been affected.
Blizzard Entertainment, the operator of the Overwatch League, said that xQc's actions violated the league's code of conduct. xQc has since received suspensions from both the Dallas Fuel and the Overwatch League itself, as well as a $2,000 fine.
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