US government heads for shutdown after lawmakers fail to make deal
WASHINGTON: The US government was headed towards a partial shutdown at midnight on Friday after President Donald Trump`s fellow Republicans in the Senate failed to muster the votes needed to approve $5 billion he has demanded for a border wall fiercely opposed by Democrats.
Trump said the impending shutdown of key parts of the federal government could last “a very long time,” and he sought to blame Democrats. They, in turn, put the blame squarely on him for his Thursday demand for wall funding after earlier backing bipartisan short-term government funding legislation passed by the Senate on Wednesday without any such money.
The impending shutdown was the latest evidence of dysfunction in Washington and might not bode well for next year, when Democrats will have a stronger hand as they take control of the House of Representatives. “President Trump has thrown a temper tantrum and now has us careening towards a `Trump shutdown` over Christmas,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.
“You`re not getting the wall today, next week or on January 3rd, when Democrats take control of the House,” Schumer added.
Hours before the deadline, lawmakers met with Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials in a last-ditch effort to find a compromise government funding bill acceptable to both political parties and Trump. There was little indication any such agreement was imminent, but senators said talks would continue. (agencies)