Lawmakers battling to resolve government shutdown

Government Shutdown
Library of Congress post a sign letting people know is closed due the shut down of the government on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at the Capitol in Washington. The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (KSNW WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT) – Much of the government is shut down after the Senate failed to pass a funding bill late last night.

The Senate and House are both at work at the Capitol today in an effort to find a compromise plan to restart the government before Monday morning.

Lawmakers in Washington are in crisis mode, but instead of working together to come up with a bipartisan solution, many of them are still pointing fingers.

Tennessee Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann says Democrats got them into this mess, and it should be Democrats who get them out.

“They’ve made a colossal mistake. They hurt the American people with this,” said Chuck Fleischmann, U.S. Congressman, R-TN. “They need to reverse course, stand up.”

However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says it’s the Republicans who aren’t willing to compromise.

“The Republican leadership can’t get a tumultuous president on board with anything and they don’t offer us any compromises on their own,” said Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator, D-New York.

It all comes down to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. It’s the program that protects immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from deportation.

Democrats say they want a DACA deal attached to the spending bill, but Republicans, like Texas Congressman Jodey Arrington, say they aren’t willing to start negotiating DACA until the government is back up and running.

“It’s unbelievable to think that Democrats would actually put American citizens at risk, our military at risk, shut the American government down on people who are here illegally,” said Jodey Arrington, U.S. Congressman, R-Texas.

But Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett says he’s willing to keep DACA out of the spending bill if Republicans promise a vote on DACA in the next few days.

“It doesn’t have to be included in this agreement but there has to be a firm understanding of how we address that,” said Lloyd Doggett, US Congressman, D-Texas.

Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar agrees. He says lawmakers need to work out their differences.

“You got to put people in one room, people that know the subject, sit down, roll up your sleeves and get the job done,” said Henry Cuellar, U.S. Congressman, D-Texas. “The people are frustrated.”

Today’s shutdown also marks President Trump’s one year anniversary in office. The president fired out a series of tweets today, all blaming the Democrats for the impasse, calling it a “nice present.”


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