US shutdown begins as Senate fails to pass new budget | 2018-01-20 |

US shutdown begins as Senate fails to pass new budget

Sun Online Desk     20th January, 2018 12:44:19 printer

US shutdown begins as Senate fails to pass new budget



The US government has begun a federal shutdown after the Senate failed to agree on a new budget.


Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until 16 February did not receive the required 60 votes.


It is the first shutdown ever to happen while the same party, the Republicans, controls Congress and the White House.


In response, the White House accused Democrats of holding "lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands".


It was unclear which way the vote would go as the midnight deadline approached, with Republicans and Democrats split on key issues.


The House of Representatives voted 230-197 on Thursday night to extend funding until next month, but the measure failed to pass the Senate by a margin of 50-49.


Five Republicans voted against the bill while five Democrats broke ranks to support it.


The last US shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted for 16 days, during which many federal employees took a forced leave of absence.


Many government offices will close as federal law requires agencies to shut down if Congress has not allocated money to fund them.


National parks and monuments are also likely to face closure.


But essential services will still run. These include national security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation, reports BBC.