Government shutdown in the United States

The United States started the week with the government in shutdown. The closure is only the fourth in 25 years the first to occur when one party the Republicans controls both houses of Congress and the White House. U.S. senators are struggling to agree on a bill to fund the government. Under Senate rules, the law needs 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to overcome blocking tactics by opponents.

The Republicans currently have 51 senators and would need some Democratic support to pass a budget. Democrats want President Trump to protect 800,000 “Dreamers” – people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, who face deportation. Trump has responded, calling for the “nuclear option” of a simple-majority vote to end the impasse.

In United States politics, a government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass and/or the President fails to sign appropriations: legislation funding government operations and agencies. In this case, the current interpretation of the Antideficiency Act requires that the federal government begin a “shutdown” of the affected activities involving the furlough of non-essential personnel and curtailment of agency activities and services.

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