On Friday night, as the clock struck midnight, the United States government was officially shut down after Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement on government funding.
Republican leaders blamed their Democratic counterparts after the Senate failed to pass a spending bill by midnight Friday to avert a government shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP needed 60 votes to pass a measure that would have kept the government running until mid-February, but not enough Democrats went along with the plan. The tally was 50-49, with five Democrats voting in favor of the measure and five Republicans voting against it.
Donald Trump woke up on the anniversary of his inauguration with the federal government shuttered, a development that seemed almost predictable after a year of tumult in Washington.
“This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present,” the president said on Twitter early on Saturday. He said in separate tweets that Democrats “could easily have made a deal” to avoid the shutdown but were “holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can’t let that happen!”
Democrats labeled it the “Trump Shutdown,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said no one “deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump.”
The GOP offered its own narrative of who is responsible and pointed the blame at the Democratic senator with the name “Schumer Shutdown.”
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Democrats in the Senate “own” the shutdown and that politics were more important than our nation:
“Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.”
She added it is not the behavior of legislators but of “obstructionist losers.” Sanders said that negotiations on immigration reform will be reopened when Democrats “start paying our armed forces and first responders.”
The press secretary ended the statement by declaring that during the “politically manufactured” shutdown, Trump and his administration “will fight for and protect the American people.”