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Government Shuts Down as Senate Fails to Reach Agreement by Midnight Deadline

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The stopgap budget measure was not passed by the Senate by the midnight EST deadline, effectively shutting down the majority of nonemergency government operations immediately. While the bill passed in the House, the Senate failed to come up with a mutually acceptable agreement. Opposition to the legislation came from both sides of the aisle, though was more prevalent among Democrats.

On Thursday, the House passed a stopgap budget measure designed to keep the government funded through mid-February, sending the bill to the Senate for approval.

This is the fourth piece of stopgap legislation that has been presented since October.

The Senate had to acquire 60 votes for the measure to pass, requiring some Democrats to vote for the legislation before it could be sent to the president. Republicans only hold a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Trump tweeted his support for the Republican-backed measure on Friday evening, saying, “Excellent preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer – working on solutions for Security and our great Military together with @SenateMajLdr McConnell and @SpeakerRyan. Making progress – four week extension would be best!”

However, when McConnell called for a procedural vote at approximately 10:00pm EST, where 60 Senators needed to be in agreement to pass cloture, effectively ending the debate on the matter and allowing the legislation to be officially voted on, the motion was defeated.

Senate Democrats have been pushing for a budget measure that would address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the set of protections for children who were brought into the country illegally by their parents.

House Republicans did include a multi-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), a healthcare program for children, in the stopgap measure, but did not address DACA in the legislation.

A large number of Senate Democrats expressed that they did not support the stopgap bill as it made it’s to them.

“The overwhelming number in our caucus have said they don’t like this deal and they believe if we kick the can down the road this time we’ll be back where we started from next time,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer according to a report by Fox News. “So there’s very, very strong support not to go along with the deal.”

However, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, showed hesitancy in voting against the bill, as doing so would lead to a shutdown.

Ultimately, the Senate did not pass the bill, putting the government in a state of shutdown.