What Caused the Government Shutdown and What Happens Now?

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At 12:01 a.m. on Saturday the federal government shut down after the Senate blocked a short-term spending bill.

Many hope the shutdown, which comes on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, will be short-lived. The shutdown is the first since 2013.

Congress returned to work Saturday and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said early Saturday that the Senate will be kept in session, and the House reconvened at 9 a.m.

The bill would have funded the government until Feb. 16. It would have extended the low-income children's health insurance program for six years and suspended some Obamacare taxes for two years.

Democrats used the shutdown deadline to try and gain protections for young immigrants who are a part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, among other things, but Republicans refused to negotiate.

Sixty votes were needed to advance the bill to keep the government open, but it failed 50-49. Republicans only control 51 seats so Democratic votes were needed for the bill to pass.

This is the first modern government shutdown with Congress and the White House controlled by the same party.

McConnell said Saturday he would offer a new option to keep the government funded through Feb. 8, rather than the Feb. 16.

The White House blamed Democrats for the shutdown.

“Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement moments before midnight. "We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators."

Only “essential” government employees will report to work while the shutdown is still active. Uniformed service members, health inspectors, and law enforcement officers are set to work without pay.

“Nonessential” employees stop getting paid and are off work until the shutdown is resolved.

More than 850,000, “non-essential” federal workers had to stay home during the last shutdown in 2013.

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