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US government in shutdown after Senate fails to pass new budget

Added: 20.01.2018 17:42 | 0 views | 0 comments


The US government has started to shut down after Congress failed to overcome a bitter standoff over spending and immigration, marking a choatic end to Donald Trump's first year as president.  Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter of a century. Social Security and most other safety net programmes are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, two million federal employees will be furloughed – given leave of absence. Most staff in the departments of housing, environment, education and commerce will stay at home. Half of workers in the treasury, health, defence and transportation departments will also not be going to work next week. National parks and monuments face closure while visa and passport processing could be delayed. Essential services that protect "life or human property" will continue, including national security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation. Donald Trump's first year in office: the conflict and controversy Click here for a detailed account of what happens now. Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure - and to broadcast that they were at work as the shutdown commenced. It seemed likely each side would try forcing votes aimed at making the other party look culpable for shuttering federal agencies. White House blames Democrats After hours of closed-door meetings and phone calls, the Senate scheduled its late-night vote on a House-passed plan. It gained 50 votes to proceed to 48 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster.  The president watched the results from the White House residence, dialing up allies and affirming his belief that Democrats would take the blame for the shutdown, a source familiar with his conversations said.  Sen. Charles Schumer walks to the chamber after a closed meeting with fellow democrats on Capitol Hill Credit: AP The White House lashed out at Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, blaming him for the shutdown "Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown," Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders declared. Senate Democrats put politics above 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.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2018 "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 said. Schumer hits back Mr Schumer fought back, however, blaming the president for leading him to believe a deal was possible on a measure to prevent the expulsion of undocumented migrants who arrived in the country as children. "Every American knows the Republican Party controls White House, the Senate, the House - it is their job to keep the government open. It is their job to work with us to move forward," Mr Schumer told the Senate. "They control every ounce of the process and it is their responsibility to govern and here they have failed," he declared. FAQ | What is a federal government shutdown? The measure brought to Congress would have extended federal funding until Feb 16 and restored a health insurance programme for poor children for six years - a long-time Democratic objective. But it would have cut the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals programme, known as Daca, that affects Dreamers. who have been protected from deportation. White House officials insisted there was no urgency to fix Daca, which expires on March 5. Mr Trump, who had made strict measures on immigration a cornerstone of his presidential campaign, last week rejected a bipartisan proposal, saying he wanted to include any deal for Dreamers in a bigger legislative package that also boosts funding for a border wall and tighter security at the border with Mexico. The lawmakers and Mr Trump's White House had mounted last-ditch negotiations to stave off what had come to appear as the inevitable, with the parties in stare-down mode over federal spending and proposals to protect the 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation. Earlier on Friday, Mr Trump had brought Mr Schumer to the White House in hopes of cutting a deal on a short-term spending agreement. Talks collapse over immigration The two New Yorkers, who pride themselves on their negotiating abilities, started talking over cheeseburgers about a larger agreement that would have included greater military spending and money for a southern border wall. But the talks fell apart almost as abruptly as they started. In a phone call hours later, the president raised new concerns about the deal he and Schumer had discussed, according to a person familiar with the conversation. In a subsequent phone call with Schumer, chief of staff John Kelly said the deal discussed was too liberal. The White House did not immediately comment on that account. As word of the Schumer meeting spread, the White House hastened to reassure Republican congressional leaders that Trump would not make any major policy concessions, a source said. US Federal Government Shutdowns On Capitol Hill, McConnell said Americans at home would be watching to see "which senators make the patriotic decision" and which "vote to shove aside veterans, military families and vulnerable children to hold the entire country hostage... until we pass an immigration bill". "We can't keep kicking the can down the road," said Schumer, insisting on more urgency in talks on immigration. "In another month, we'll be right back here, at this moment, with the same web of problems at our feet, in no better position to solve them." Mr Schumer called on the president and leaders of both parties to resume negotiations on Saturday. Mr McConnell said he would seek a new funding bill through to February 8 but a Senate Democratic source said that was too far out. Democrats had argued for an extension of four or five days to force both sides into serious negotiations on the immigration issue. Election issue With mid-term congressional elections looming later this year, Republicans risk being blamed by voters when the government stops functioning over lack of funds. A new Washington Post/ABC poll found that 48 per cent of Americans blame Trump and the Republicans for a potential shutdown, and only 28 per cent hold Democrats responsible. Trump had been set to leave on Friday to attend a fundraiser at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate marking the anniversary of his inauguration, but delayed his travel. The shutdown is the first since 2013, when tea party Republicans - in a strategy not unlike the one Mr Schumer is employing now - sought to use a must-pass funding bill to try to force then-President Barack Obama to delay implementation of his marquee health care law. At the time, Mr Trump told Fox & Friends that the ultimate blame for a shutdown lies at the top. "I really think the pressure is on the president," he said.   2:10PM Donald Trump blames Democrats Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018 This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018 This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018   7:09AM The Twitter war rages The time for talking has ended. The time for tweeting has begun. Both sides are currently slugging it out on social media.  The Republicans say: Senate Democrats have let down our troops, our children, and all Americans. All of this is just unnecessary. It is reckless. Senate Democrats have brought us to a shutdown. https://t.co/RlGYYue4Hhpic.twitter.com/MVJiTZFvDt— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 20, 2018 The facts before us are simple. Right now, the Democratic leader has no compromise immigration bill on the table. No bill exists. Why do Americans need to suffer from a government shutdown when he doesn’t even have an immigration bill?— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) January 20, 2018  The Democrats say: Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. No matter how they spin this shutdown, we know what happened: They abandoned their responsibility.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 20, 2018 This will be called the #TrumpShutdown. There is no one who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump. pic.twitter.com/WE3SH9TpRU— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 20, 2018 6:59AM The cheeseburger summit An NBC News reporter says Schumer and Trump held talks while munching on cheeseburgers.  FAQ | What is a federal government shutdown? 6:55AM What is shut down? FAQ | What is a federal government shutdown? 6:25AM McConnell to propose shorter-term funding plan Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will seek to halt the shutdown with a proposal to fund the government through February 8. McConnell says February 8 is "a very reasonable time" and pushes the matter beyond President Donald Trump's Jan. 30 State of the Union address. It's unclear how quickly lawmakers might vote on McConnell's proposal. It's also uncertain if shrinking the timeframe of a short-term agreement from four weeks to three weeks will draw enough votes to reopen the government. 6:02AM Trump staying in Washington 'until this is finished' Mr Trump had already scrapped plans to depart on Friday for his Mar-a-Lago club, where he'd been set to attend a high-dollar fundraiser on Saturday night to commemorate his first year in office. While White House aides did not respond to questions about the president's weekend plans, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters he didn't expect Trump to go to Florida on Saturday. "I think the president's been very clear: He's not leaving until this is finished," he said. The reverberations of the shutdown will be felt across Washington, all over the nation - and within the White House residence. According to federal stipulations, just 21 of the 96 members of the White House residential staff would report to duty on any day of a shutdown. 5:56AM No talks on immigration until shutdown over As well as blaming the Democrats, Trump's administration said it would not discuss immigration until the government is up and running again. "When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform." 5:40AM Battle of the hashtags The White House is calling it the #SchumerShutdown. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, is calling it the #TrumpShutdown. “Tonight, on the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Trump earned an ‘F’ for failure in leadership," Ms Pelosi said. “I hope that we can now conduct bipartisan negotiations where we find our common ground to honor our responsibility to meet the needs of the American people.” I hope that we can now conduct bipartisan negotiations where we find our common ground to honor our responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. #TrumpShutdown Read my full statement here: https://t.co/RiGSbynFqw— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 20, 2018 5:34AM Schumer responds Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is giving his version of the talks - putting much of the blame on the president. He says he had offered to "put the border wall on the table" during discussions with Mr Trump, but that was not enough for him to make a deal.  He says an outline of a deal was in hand on immigration and spending caps but Trump "did not press his party in Congress to accept it". Sen. Schumer: "What happened to the President Trump who asked us to come up with a deal and promise that he'd take heat for it? What happened to that president? He backed off at the first sign of pressure." https://t.co/eK4NmkzQpFpic.twitter.com/Jx6zH0WaEO— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2018 5:27AM Senator McConnell reacts The Senate Majority Leader says the Democrats derailed talks with  their desire to force the passage of legislation to protect some 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation. Sen. McConnell: "Almost everybody on both sides doesn't understand how we ended up here because most of this stuff we agree on. There's only one reason we ended up here: the shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate." https://t.co/eK4NmkzQpFpic.twitter.com/QuxoYSt8rB— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2018   5:23AM What Trump said in the past Earlier, the Democrats were keen to show what Mr Trump said when the government shutdown in 2013.  .@realDonaldTrump’s take on a government shutdown, in 2013: “I really think the pressure is on the president.” #TrumpShutdownpic.twitter.com/cP2BH31RqK— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) January 19, 2018 5:21AM The 'behavior of obstructionist losers' The White House is continuing its attack - and you suspect Donald Trump may be dictating.  This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Dems pay our armed forces & first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During the politically manufactured #SchumerShutdown, @POTUS will fight for & protect the American people.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2018 5:15AM White House kicks off blame game As soon as the shutdown began, the White House tweeted it response - laying the blame squarely at the Democrats. Senate Democrats put politics above 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.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2018

Pentagon strategy drops climate change as a security threat

Added: 20.01.2018 9:26 | 0 views | 0 comments


Climate change and the impact it has on national and international security was not included in the US national defense strategy, unveiled by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday. The move is perhaps not surprising given that President Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax, and last June announced that he would pull the United States out of the historic Paris climate pact unless there were changes to the US side of the deal. In 2016 President Barack Obama labeled climate change a threat to national security, and for years experts and scientists have pointed to the impacts of natural disasters, famines and rising sea levels as prompting refugee flows that threaten global stability.

Ex-Obama Staffer Reflects On Trump's 'Upsetting' Comment To 'Pretty Korean Lady'

Added: 17.01.2018 19:41 | 0 views | 0 comments


Gary Lee, who served as an assistant staff secretary under former President Barack Obama, has shared how President Donald Trump’s reported comments to a Korean-American intelligence analyst embodied the antithesis of his experience with his one-time boss.

National Parks Advisory Panel Members Quit Over 'Inexcusable' Treatment From Interior Sec.

Added: 17.01.2018 13:50 | 1 views | 0 comments

Three-quarters of the United States National Park Service advisory board participated in a mass resignation on Monday night, detailing their experiences with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's refusal to meet with the group according to National Public Radio. Nine of the panel's 12 members, led by Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, handed in their resignation from the bipartisan panel, which was appointed by former President Barack Obama. Knowles sent a letter of resignation to Zinke from himself and the eight other members which relayed how the board "worked closely and productively through 2016 with dedicated National Park Service employees, an inspiring Director, and a fully supportive Department."...

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Director James Gunn Offers $100,000 If Trump Will Step On A Scale

Added: 17.01.2018 8:41 | 0 views | 0 comments


Gunn’s unusual proposition came hours after White House doctor Ronny Jackson said on Tuesday that the president was 6′3″ and weighed 239 pounds, or one pound shy of the level that would be considered obese. The filmmaker and other Trump critics didn’t buy it. Mocking Trump’s involvement in the debunked “birther” conspiracy theory that claimed President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, Twitter users created the #Girther hashtag to question Jackson’s claims.

Ex-Obama Staffer Reflects On Trump's 'Upsetting' Comment To 'Pretty Korean Lady'

Added: 17.01.2018 3:26 | 0 views | 0 comments


Gary Lee, who served as an assistant staff secretary under former President Barack Obama, has shared how President Donald Trump’s reported comments to a Korean-American intelligence analyst embodied the antithesis of his experience with his one-time boss.

Kentucky governor says he'll end Medicaid benefits for 400,000 if court blocks work requirements

Added: 16.01.2018 21:41 | 2 views | 0 comments


Gov. Matt Bevin says he will end Medicaid benefits for more than 400,000 Kentuckians if the courts stop him from requiring many of them to work.Kentucky was among 32 states that expanded Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law, and many more people signed up than forecast. The program...

From: www.sun-sentinel.com

Fox News proves that it’s creating an alternate reality

Added: 15.01.2018 11:24 | 0 views | 0 comments

Fox misquotes President Barack Obama and tries to smear his words

Chelsea Manning eyes Democratic nomination for Maryland Senate seat

Added: 14.01.2018 12:55 | 1 views | 0 comments

Manning was granted clemency by former U.S. President Barack Obama

Administration plan sees deterrence in new nuclear firepower

Added: 14.01.2018 1:42 | 3 views | 0 comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Russia in mind, the Trump administration is aiming to develop new nuclear firepower that it says will make it easier to deter threats to European allies. The plan, not yet approved by President Donald Trump, is intended to make nuclear conflict less likely. Critics argue it would do the opposite. The proposal is spelled out in a policy document, known officially as a "nuclear posture review," that puts the U.S. in a generally more aggressive nuclear stance. It is the first review of its kind since 2010 and is among several studies of security strategy undertaken since Trump took office. In many ways it reaffirms the nuclear policy of President Barack Obama, including...

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