US Senate adjourns through Christmas with government partially shut down

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday that there is no deal, and the Senate is adjourned until Thursday, Dec. 27. The White House and Capitol Hill have made little progress towards finding a compromise — President Trump is demanding $5 billion for his border wall, and Democrats insist they won’t give him any of that funding. The government partially shut down at midnight Friday.

With the shutdown in place, about 380,000 government employees will be made to take temporary, unpaid leave . Meanwhile, 420,000 employees working in essential roles – considered necessary for the “protection of life and property” – will keep working, without being paid.

With the US under the first day of a partial government shutdown the Senate majority leader said would extend past Christmas, Donald Trump and Democrats sought to apportion the blame.

Democratic leaders blamed Trump for a “temper tantrum” – and pointed out that only last week, the president said he would welcome a shutdown over border security and would in fact be proud to force one.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers were either forced to take unpaid time off or forced to work without pay. The president said they should “call it a Democrat shutdown”.

Speaking on the Senate floor, majority leader Mitch McConnell said the onus for coming up with a solution was on the Democrats and Trump.

Trump used Twitter to express his defiance, writing: “I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!”

The minority leader, Chuck Schumer, addressed the president directly, saying: “If you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall.”

In a call with reporters, a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity said: “We continue to articulate what our expectations are for Congress, which is $5bn for border security and physical barriers.”

The shutdown began at midnight. Trump remained at the White House, with his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both key advisers. In a video posted to social media, the president said: “Now it’s up to the Senate, and it’s really up to the Democrats, because we need their votes. We’re going to have a shutdown. There’s nothing we can do about that. Call it a Democrat shutdown, call it whatever you want.”

The billionaire Tom Steyer, who has campaigned for Trump’s impeachment and is reported to be considering a run for the presidency, said in a statement the shutdown was “just another example of why Trump is unfit for office”. He added: “We need a president who fights for the American people and improves our country, not one who threatens the jobs and well-being of federal employees to promote his racist agenda.”

This week Mr Trump’s supporters created a crowdfunding page for the building process – an appeal that has so far raised more than $13m (£10m) in just four days.

 

Konark Bassi

Konark, a great human being by nature is also a good learner and a deep thinker. Konark portrays his incredible writing skills into journalism and writes what he finds authentic and acceptable. He is a good social worker and enjoys his time caring for others.

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