Government Shutdown Should End Soon


US lawmakers will begin a last-ditch effort on Sunday to end the budget impasse before hundreds of thousands of federal workers are forced to start the work week at home with no pay.

The US Senate votes today on a bill to temporarily restore federal funding and end a three-day shutdown that has delayed federal services and forced hundreds of thousands of civil servants to take unpaid leave.

However, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday he would address those concerns in a debate in early February if the issue remains unresolved.

Republicans, from Trump to House Speaker Paul Ryan, have attempted to saddle Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democratic colleagues with the blame for a potential shutdown, accusing them of brinksmanship over protections for immigrants. Trump rescinded the program in September and called for Congress to come up with a legislative solution; when it did, in a bipartisan deal put together by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), Trump struck the bill down.

Democrats are facing intense pressure from their base to solve the issue over the young immigrants, commonly referred to as "Dreamers", and they are skeptical of Republicans' credibility when offering to take up the issue. At issue is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects almost 700,000 unauthorized immigrants who came to the USA as minors, or "Dreamers", who are at risk of deportation.

In anticipation of an imminent government shutdown, Trump cancelled his planned trip to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida mansion, where he meant to celebrate his first anniversary at the White House on Saturday. Warner said there was now a "path clear on how we're going to get a full-year budget and we got a path clear on how we're going to start an immigration debate".

"Things are moving in the right direction", said Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Republican senators failed to capture the 60 votes they needed to even vote on the bill that would have funded the government for 30 days.

Moments before the deadline, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to mitigate the fallout with a statement she shared on Twitter, calling the government's funding lapse the "Schumer Shutdown". In a series of tweets hours after the shutdown began, the president tried to make the case for Americans to elect more Republicans to Congress in November "in order to power through this mess". They say Democrats are overly focused on DACA and overlooking other pressing matters that will be affected by the shutdown.

At the Capitol, the Democratic Senators told reporters that the President asked Schumer to work with the Republican Congressional leadership to sort out their differences.

The so-called nuclear option would change the 60-vote rule and allow Republicans to pass legislation without Democrat approval.

However, the Republicans are unlikely to opt for this, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. "And I think we're never going to get there as long as we embrace concepts that can not possibly get 60 votes". But he also said, "The question is, when do you use it".

Mulvaney said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union: "Everything that was in the bill Democrats support and have voted for previously".

He argued that they won a concession from McConnell that he isn't requiring President Donald Trump to sign off before an immigration bill moves to the floor.

Mulvaney discussed the shutdown on MSNBC Monday morning.

Although they initially dug in on a demand for an immigration deal, Democrats had shifted to blaming the shutdown on the incompetence of Republicans and President Donald Trump, seeming sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations over their big to protect immigrants. The Democrats seemed sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations to protect immigrants in the USA illegally.