President Donald Trump was faced Friday with the prospect of marking the first anniversary of his inauguration at the head of a broke government, after senators failed to pass a stop-gap funding measure.
Republicans and Democrats traded blame for the crisis, which came to a head when the Senate failed to agree to bring forward a motion to fund federal spending and the military from midnight.
Essential services and military operations will continue, but many American civil servants and diplomats could arrive at work on Monday only to find themselves sent home without pay until the political crisis is resolved.
Trump, who cancelled a trip weekend trip to his Florida golf resort to join 11th hour horsetrading accused the Democratic opposition of putting US troops and border security at risk to score political points.
But Democratic leaders accused Republicans of poisoning chances of a deal and pandering to Trump’s populist base by refusing to fund a program that protects 700,000 “Dreamers” — undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children — from deportation.
“Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border,” Trump tweeted, shortly before the 100-member Senate failed to muster the minimum 60 votes needed to get an emergency funding motion to the floor.
“Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy,” he alleged.
Earlier, after meeting top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, Trump had sounded more upbeat, saying the two New Yorkers were “working on solutions” to share with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
But Schumer admitted a “good number of disagreements” remain between the two sides, despite a “long and detailed meeting” at which they discussed “all of the major outstanding issues.”
The president shelved plans to fly to Florida to celebrate at his Mar-a-Lago estate the first anniversary of his inauguration to remain in Washington to ride out the storm.
“He’s not leaving until this is finished,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said.
– ‘Shutdown coming?’ –