Mmegi Online :: US shutdown: Government services closed as working week begins
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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 February 2018, 17:14 pm.
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US shutdown: Government services closed as working week begins

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are waking up in the US, unable to work because of a government shutdown.
By BBC.COM Mon 22 Jan 2018, 18:30 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: US shutdown: Government services closed as working week begins








The US Senate has failed to reach a temporary budget deal to keep it open.

Some employees will not be paid until the stalemate is resolved.

A vote will take place at noon in Washington (17:00 GMT) on whether to re-open government. Immigration remains one of the main sticking points between Republicans and Democrats.

Democrats have refused to back a temporary budget deal until their concerns on immigration reform are dealt with.

Essential federal services are still running across the country, but non-essential workers are not required to report to work.

Why has the government shut down?

It missed a deadline. At midnight on Friday, lawmakers failed to agree on a spending bill. The bill was not a plan for funding for the whole of 2018, but would have kept things running until the middle of next month. 

Efforts to reach a compromise ahead of the working week failed in a rare Senate session late on Sunday. 

A vote to end the shutdown was postponed until midday on Monday, meaning many federal government offices will not open as the shutdown enters its third day. 

Under Senate rules, the bill needs 60 votes in the 100-member chamber. 

The Republicans currently have 51 senators, so they need some Democratic

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support to pass a budget.

Democrats want President Trump to negotiate over immigration as part of a budget deal, but Republicans say no agreement is possible while federal government services are closed.

Republicans want funding for border security - including a proposed border wall with Mexico - and immigration reforms, as well as increased military spending.

On Saturday, Mr Trump said the "nuclear option" of a simple majority vote was necessary to end the impasse.

What does a shutdown mean?

It means no pay for those federal employees who are "furloughed" - on unpaid leave - even though their workplaces are not open.

The last government shutdown was in 2013, and lasted for 16 days. 

It cost the government $2bn in lost productivity and led to "significant negative effects on the economy", the OMB said at the time. 

After the 2013 shutdown, Congress passed a bill ensuring employees who were on unpaid leave received pay cheques for the time they missed. However, receiving pay is not guaranteed this time as Congress would have to approve it again.

The shutdown began on the first anniversary of President Trump's inauguration. His trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has also been called into question.

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