Government shutdown as Senate fails to reach budget agreement

01/20/2018 07:54 AM

Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach an agreement Friday before the midnight deadline to pass a spending bill forcing a government shutdown.

Thousands of federal employees will be placed on furlough Monday as agencies and departments considered nonessential shutdown.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, sought to position a shutdown as Democrats fault. McConnell attempted to frame the choice as one between extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million kids for six-years, or Democrats push for a solution on DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival.

Democrats had proposed a continuing resolution that would keep the government open until January 29 — the day before the State of the Union, but Republicans were not willing to consider that. Discussions are ongoing.

This is a historic moment for the United States. It’s the first time in about 40 years that Washington failed to fund the government with the same party in control of Congress and the White House.

Also important to note that both Republicans and Democrats voted no on this bill – however there were 5 Democrats who voted yes on the bill – all 5 from Republican leaning states including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.

White House officials say that they expect an agreement could be reached in the next 24 hours – this would be another short term bill, but details are up in the air.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement on the shutdown:

“It is distressing and embarrassing that President Trump and Congressional Republicans have spent a full year in total control of the federal government but have demonstrated a total inability to govern. There is bipartisan support for legislation that would end this shutdown, but Republican leadership is too afraid of an extreme faction in their own party to pursue this compromise. This GOP dysfunction has prevented Congress from enacting a full year budget deal, disaster relief, resources to address the opioid epidemic, full funding for children’s health insurance and community health centers, protections for DREAMers, and other top priorities for American families. As President Trump himself said during the 2013 shutdown: ‘Problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top.’ President Trump, Leader McConnell, and Speaker Ryan, the American people need you to govern. Quit ignoring them.”

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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