The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday. That has halted all but the most essential operations and marred the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction. Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century. Behind the scenes, however, leading Republicans and Democrats were trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown. Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure, reports the AP. The AP separately tracks the path to the shutdown:
- It was shortly after 7:30pm Thursday when the Republican-led House passed a 30-day spending plan. With less than 29 hours until the shutdown deadline, attention quickly shifted to the Senate, where 60 votes were needed.
- In a sign of the trouble to come, the Senate couldn't even agree on when to adjourn for the night. When lawmakers did return Friday morning, a shutdown suddenly seemed more likely than ever.