Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

Democrats, GOP exchange charges of blame for shutdown

Federal agencies, meanwhile, prepared to idle employees and halt major portions of their operations.

Although the House and Senate were in session Saturday, it was unclear whether lawmakers would take any votes of effect. Republicans in turn said they would not negotiate on immigration until Democrats gave them the votes needed to reopen the government.

The federal government had been running on three consecutive temporary funding bills since the new fiscal year began in October. That position is a striking role reversal for the conservative former congressman who was one of the architects of the 2013 government shutdown.

"Tomorrow marks a year to the day President Trump took the oath of office on the Capitol steps", Schumer said.

The partial government shutdown was triggered at midnight on Friday when the Senate failed to agree to a House-passed bill to fund the government through February 16.

The tough message from the White House and Republicans in Congress led to speculation that Washington could be in for a prolonged political battle.

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2018.

A shutdown would be the first since 2013, when tea party Republicans - in a strategy not unlike the one Schumer is employing now - sought to use a must-pass funding bill to try to force then-President Barack Obama to delay implementation of his marquee health care law.

Members of Congress, however, will still receive full pay.

"That's the price of leadership", he said.

The shutdown also came on the same day that marchers gathered in cities around the country to commemorate the anniversary of women's "resistance" marches against Trump.

Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence and McConnell launched their own attacks on Saturday blaming the Democrats for shutting down the government over illegal immigration.

Trump had been set to leave Friday afternoon to attend a fundraiser at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate marking the one-year anniversary of his inauguration but delayed his travel.

"Democrats are far more concerned with illegal immigrants than they are with our great military or safety at our risky southern border", he said.

Even before the vote, Trump was pessimistic, tweeting, "Not looking good" and blaming the Democrats who he said actually wanted the shutdown "to help diminish the success" of the tax bill he and fellow Republicans pushed through last month.

Arguing that Trump's predecessors "weaponized" that shutdown, Mulvaney said his budget office would direct agencies to work to mitigate the impact this time, although it was unclear how long that was possible.

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. It failed by far to gain the 60 votes to break a Democratic filibuster, with a handful of red-state Democrats crossing the aisle to support the measure and some Republicans voting in opposition.

At the Capitol on Saturday, Republican leaders including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., focused their ire on top officials across the aisle, particularly Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Democrats accused Republicans of poisoning chances of a deal and pandering to Trump's populist base by refusing to fund a program that protects 700,000 "Dreamers" - undocumented immigrants who arrived in the USA as children - from deportation.

Despite frantic meetings that ran through midnight, a deal could not be reached.

"The president will not negotiate on immigration reform until Democrats stop playing games and reopen the government", said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

The statement echoed early-morning tweets by Trump, in which he attacked Democrats for prioritizing an immigration solution.

Democrats and many Republicans want to provide permanent legal status leading to citizenship for Dreamers.

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The State Department warned that it could have problems processing passports.

He added, "In fact, I found out for the first time last night that the person who technically shuts the government down is me, which is kind of cool". The shutdown lasted 16 days and furloughed hundreds of thousands of federal workers. 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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