Trump forced to shut down federal government

AP Donald Trump Chuck Schumer

"This is the behaviour of obstructionist losers, not legislators", the statement added. Congress needed 60 votes to advance the bill to keep the government open for four weeks, but Republicans only control 51 seats and needed Democratic votes to cross the floor.

As the deadline approached, Senate Republicans forced a vote to try to keep the government open until February 16, knowing that they didn't have support to get the deal through, using it as a way to place blame on Democrats.

Huddled negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer were unsuccessful, and the U.S. government technically ran out of money at midnight.

But now even some Republicans in the Senate are saying they'll vote against the continuing resolution the House already green-lighted. McConnell and Schumer insisted they were still committed to finding an agreement that restores government funding as soon as possible.

Food inspections, federal law enforcement, airport security checks, and other vital services will continue, as will social security, other federal benefit programmes and military operations. However, a new CNN poll finds that, while the DACA program is popular among both Democrats and Republicans, 56 percent of Americans say avoiding a shutdown is more important.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said his office is preparing for "the Schumer shutdown".

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The Trump administration and GOP leaders are not willing to discuss immigration at the same time they are trying to fund the government.

Democratic leaders wanted the measure to include protections from deportation for about 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

As the threat of a government shutdown gets dangerously close to turning into a reality, President Donald Trump's plans to head to his weekend White House at his Florida resort are grounded. The last government shutdown lasted for 16 days in October 2013.

Bernie Sanders - the independent Vermont senator aligned with Democrats - described the president's decision to end protections for "dreamers" as "Trump's self-made crisis". What does the government shutdown mean for the USA?

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell lashed out at the vote and said the shutdown was the result of a "cynical decision by the Democrats". "When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform".