Failing to meet the midnight deadline to renew funding, the US government after a period of five years shut down early morning on Saturday. The shutdown happened on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President as Congress failed to overcome standoff over its spending and immigration. The US government was racing against time on Friday to keep the government floating and agencies open by passing a short-term bill. The White House blamed the Democrats for the shutdown and accused them of obstructing the passing of the bill. The White House said that Democrats were holding illegal immigrants important than the lawful citizens of United States as the 60 votes to overcome the procedural hurdle could not be achieved. Last time, Donald Trump blamed then President Barack Obama for the shutdown that was followed by the mounting pressure from the tea-party Republicans who sought to pass a must-pass bill and delay Obama’s bill to secure healthcare law in US.
Why US government shutdown?
In order to keep the government running till February 16, the Senate had to pass a bill with a majority of 60 votes between Democrats and Republicans. But, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democrats were to be blamed for the shutdown that was ‘100-per cent avoidable’. “This is completely unfair and uncompassionate for my Democratic colleagues to filibuster government funding, harm our troops, and jeopardise health coverage for nine million children because extreme elements of their base want illegal immigration to crowd out every other priority,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Amid difference of opinions between the Republicans and Democrats, the voting was stalled for two hours as both party leaders tried to reach an agreement for the extension of a short-term bill. Unable to do so, the vote failed 50-48 causing the US government to shut down. Basically, the shutdown occurred due to a shortage of funds and is seen as a move to force Republicans and Donald Trump to negotiate on the deportation of illegal immigrants and the stand has been taken to delay Trump’s plans to scrap DACA programme. Trump blaming the Democrats said that their deliberate effort to shutdown the government was to diminish the successes of tax cuts and its benefits helping people.
What happens in a US government shutdown?
In shutdowns, non-essential government employees are released, or placed on temporary unpaid leave. Workers deemed essential, including those dealing with public safety and national security, keep working. Most of its effects will be felt on Monday when the employees will not be able to join work and will be forced to stay at home. It is estimated that more than 800,000 federal employees would be laid-off. The military will still go to work, the border will still be patrolled and the parks will be open. But in each of these cases, people will not be paid.
The post office will be open, the Transportation Security Administration will be open, but again all of these people will be working for nothing as the funds have been stalled. US Postal Services would be working. Inside the White House, more than 1,000 of the 1,715 staff at the White House would be laid-off, the Trump administration. In 2013, US Internal Revenue Service had to lay-off 90 per cent of its staff. This time around $4 billion of tax refunds were delayed. Federal courts would operate only for three weeks in its normal state while healthcare, stock market would operate at the cost of several employees losing its job.