The House of Representatives voted 230-197 on Thursday night to extend funding until next month, but the measure failed to pass the Senate by a margin of 50-49.The last US shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted for 16 days. Before 2013, there was a shutdown for 18 days in 1978 and two under Bill Clinton in 1995 and 1996. Many government offices, national parks and monuments will close as federal law requires agencies to shut down if Congress has not allocated money to fund them. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that over 50% of his department would not go to work, and some maintenance, training and intelligence operations would come to a halt. Visa and passport processing could also be delayed.National security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation will continue to work.
The main bone of contention has been Democrats’ demands for more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children to be protected from deportation. On the other part, PresidentTrump wants funding for tough new border controls, including his proposed US-Mexico wall. For the instant the fundamental divide remains. But however the weekend provides time to find a solution before the start of business on Monday.