The political theater continues.
At midnight last night, the U.S. government officially shut down as last ditch efforts for a short-term spending plan failed in the Senate. 60 Senators are required to pass the bill, which would have kept the government open for one more month.
Five Democratic Senators voted for the measure, Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Doug Jones of Alabama. Four Republicans voted against the measure, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Mike Lee of Utah.
President Trump has been involved in the negotiations this week, however the Democrats have balked over the issue of illegal immigration and the DACA immigrants.
“Apparently they believe that the issue of illegal immigration is more important than everything else, all of the government services people depend on,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Lawmakers have vowed to continue negotiations over the weekend.
Trump appears to have succeeded in laying this in the lap of Senator Chuck Schumer. In the battle of public relations, this may be slightly worse for Democrats than Republicans.
Services deemed “critical” will continue to operate, including workers who send social security checks, certain military and intelligence organizations, and emergency services.
Author’s note: We call this “political theater” because politicians make a big deal about it, but in reality the effect on the American people is minimal. In every case in history, all government employees have eventually been paid. Certain government contractors will not be paid however, and are perhaps the most affected group. It’s embarrassing for Congress, though and will continue to be a political football.