US government shutdown - as it happened: Senate Democrats reach deal to break deadlock and end US government shutdown

Alexandra Wilts
Washington DC
,Chris Stevenson,Jeremy B. White
Monday 22 January 2018 17:49 GMT
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Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer seeks to place the blame for a government shutdown on Donald Trump during a news conference
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer seeks to place the blame for a government shutdown on Donald Trump during a news conference (Reuters)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A government shutdown drew to a close after three days as Democrats backed a stopgap agreement to continue unsettled negotiations over an immigration programme.

After having blocked a short-term funding deal, rejecting it on the grounds that it did not address an expired program protecting young immigrants from deportation, Democrats lent the votes necessary to advance out of the Senate a measure that offered no concrete immigration concessions. The House quickly approved the compromise.

The measure does include six years of funding for a lapsed children’s health insurance programme. It will financially sustain the federal government for another three weeks, a window during which Congress will try again to reach a broader immigration compromise.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was trusting the pledge of his Republican counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to allow a “free and open debate” on immigration.

Democrats who voted against the bill and members of the party’s liberal base lambasted the agreement, saying Mr Schumer and others had caved without securing any real concessions.

Members of both parties, including the President, had spent days trading blame for the shutdown.

Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens. "Not good," his first tweet said. In a second tweet, he said, "Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base. They don't want to do it but are powerless!"

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