February 21, 2018

Trump says shutdown was 'nice present' from Democrats

21 January 2018, 12:43 | Christie Tate

US government shutdown underway amid blame game

The US government has gone into shutdown after Senate agreement on spending bill stalls

Some Republican critics of Trump said he might emerge reputation intact, should Democrats bear the brunt of the blame. "(House) Speaker (Paul) Ryan has found this out". Immigration "has to be part of the package", he said.

The impact of the potential shutdown on the planned trip by Mr Trump and much of his Cabinet to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week was still undetermined.

The House of Representatives stayed in session Saturday in the event the Senate negotiated a new continuing resolution that would require another vote. Trump's team sees the shutdown as an example of the president's commitment to tough negotiation and believes Democrats will cave in, the official said in describing the strategy.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been busy on Twitter, writing, " Democrats are far more concerned with illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our risky Southern Border. "The White House position remains the same".

Schumer said earlier that Trump has repeatedly changed what he's willing to agree to.

The President and fellow Republicans sought to pin the blame on Democrats, with Mr Trump doubling down on past suggestions that they are embracing illegal immigration or are indifferent to supplying the military with needed resources.

"But we will get the job done", Mr. Trump said at his inauguration.

"I think Democrats made a series of really grave mistakes, chief among them is having a three-week debate about the DACA program, which will likely get a solution but certainly didn't call for a government shutdown to achieve it". Democrats were seeking a stopgap bill of just a few days in hopes that would build pressure on Republicans, and they were opposing a three-week alternative offered by GOP leaders.

The U.S. government has officially shut down 18 times since 1976, under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

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In a Senate floor speech, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted "a cynical decision by Senate Democrats to shove aside millions of Americans for the sake of irresponsible political gains".

Republicans are calling the current standoff the "Schumer Shutdown", arguing that there's nothing in the bill that Democrats oppose, while a short-term extension would give lawmakers time to work out differences on issues like protecting young immigrants and disaster assistance. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, asked by reporters what he'd heard from the president that day, said, nothing. "As a result, a paralysis has descended on Capitol Hill". The Obama-era program provided protection from deportation to young immigrants brought to this country illegally as children.

The president shelved plans to fly to Florida to celebrate at his Mar-a-Lago estate the first anniversary of his inauguration to remain in Washington to ride out the storm.

Schumer is not the first lawmaker to publicly express frustration with Trump's wavering views - even Republican leaders have called him out.

"Democrats are far more concerned with illegal immigrants than they are with our great military or safety at our risky southern border", he wrote. "Can't let that happen!" he tweeted.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats held a post-caucus meeting press conference late Saturday morning, hours after the Senate failed to reach an agreement on government funding Friday night, triggering a partial shutdown.

Congress also failed to reach an agreement to a limit on how much Congress could spend on military and domestic programmes in order to keep the government open.

Even those measures were not enough to appease the hardline conservative faction of the Republican party, Schumer said. By Thursday afternoon, nine of those had flipped their votes to no. Other Republicans followed suit. They noted the House passed the spending measure and the president was prepared to sign it.

Schumer blasted Trump's inability to set a clear path and the failure of Republican congressional leaders to deliver on immigration.

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