US government in shutdown as midnight deadline passes

Senators were still negotiating on the Senate floor as the clock turned midnight. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Washington, DC, United States Jan 20, 2018, 05.16 AM (IST)

The US government officially shut down on Saturday, the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, after lawmakers failed to agree a stop-gap spending deal.

Also read: What happens in a US government shutdown?

Senators were still negotiating on the Senate floor as the clock turned midnight, but Trump's office issued a statement blaming opposition Democrats for the crisis.

"We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Democratic leaders have blamed the breakdown of a possible deal on Trump's refusal to fund a program that protects 700,000 "Dreamers" -- undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children -- from deportation.

Also Read: One year on, Trump leads divided US into government shutdown

US federal services and military operations deemed essential will continue, but thousands of government workers will be sent home without pay until the crisis is resolved.

Story highlights

The US government officially shut down on Saturday, the first anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, after lawmakers failed to agree a stop-gap spending deal ||