Late Friday night the U.S. Senate rejected a stopgap funding measure proposal to allow all government offices to continue their operation into February. At midnight the federal government was “shut down”. All federal agencies have filed plans for this contingency, furloughing every nonessential employee. Employees deemed “essential,” like those in the military and law enforcement, are required to continue to work, but will not be paid their wages and salaries until another funding bill is passed into law.
President Trump met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for over an hour and a half on Friday with President Trump Tweeting afterwards:
Excellent preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer – working on solutions for Security and our great Military together with @SenateMajLdr McConnell and @SpeakerRyan. Making progress – four week extension would be best!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2018
Whatever promise there was early in the evening waned as the hours passed. The bill needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate but only 50 yeas were cast. Senate Democrats were successful in killing the bill, as the Grey Lady reports:
With just 50 senators voting in favor, Senate Republican leaders fell well short of the 60 votes necessary to proceed on the spending measure, which had passed the House on Thursday. Five conservative state Democrats voted for the spending measure. Five Republicans voted against it, although one of those, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, did so for procedural reasons.
As is so often the case, the taxpayers are the ones taking it on the chin. They will lose any services provided by the federal bureaucracy, experience a cascade of delays for any permitting, licensing, etc. having to do with the federal government. Then, if the past is any indication, when new funding is passed, they will be paying the furloughed employees for the time they spent not working during the shutdown, so that the legislators can appear gracious.