The US government partially shut down early Saturday after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement over the House-approved funding bill providing $5.7 billion for a US-Mexico border wall.
Both the US Senate and the House adjourned for the night without voting on funding for the project.
Vice-President Mike Pence earlier broke a tie in a procedural vote to keep discussing the bill. The floor had stayed open for over five hours, as senators rushed back to Washington, DC to voice their opinion on the measure allocating €5.7 billion to fund the border wall, which was passed in the House of Representatives the day before. It was reportedly the longest floor vote in modern Senate history.
Democrats remain opposed to providing any funding for Trump’s wall proposal, now or ever.
“The wall does not have 60 votes, let alone 50 votes,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said on the floor after the vote.
The continuing resolution would require the approval of 60 senators, and the Republicans currently hold 51 seats. Democrat and Republican leadership did agree, however, that the next roll call would be on the actual spending bill, rather than another procedural vote.
At midnight Eastern time on Saturday, the Congress-approved funding for about a quarter of US government functions runs out, leaving approximately 800,000 federal workers in the lurch on the weekend before the Christmas holiday.
Trump pinned blame on the Democrats. “We’re going to have a shutdown. There’s nothing we can do about that because we need the Democrats to give us their votes,” Trump said in a video posted on Twitter, roughly two hours before the partial shutdown came into effect.
Both the Senate and the House are due to reconvene at noon on Saturday.
This is the third shutdown for the US government in a year. The previous two took place in January and February.
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