Today's Paper Latest stories 🏈 High school scoreboard Obits Traffic Wally Hall Newsletters Weather Puzzles + games
story.lead_photo.caption With no apparent indications of a breakthrough in the Senate to avoid a government shutdown, the Capitol is illuminated in Washington, Friday evening, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government shut down at midnight Eastern time after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending.

In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline.

The shutdown is only the fourth government closure in a quarter-century.

Even before the vote, President Donald Trump was pessimistic, tweeting, "Not looking good" and blaming the Democrats who he said actually wanted the shutdown "to help diminish the success" of the tax bill he and fellow Republicans pushed through last month.

Democrats balked on the measure in an effort to pressure on the White House to cut a deal to protect "dreamer" immigrants — who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally — before their legal protection runs out in March.

The president watched the results from the White House residence, dialing up allies and affirming his belief that Democrats would take the blame for the shutdown, said a person familiar with his conversations but not authorized to discuss them publicly.

Predictably, both parties moved swiftly to blame one another. Democrats laid fault with Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House and have struggled with building internal consensus. Republicans declared Democrats responsible, after they declined to provide the votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate over their desire to force the passage of legislation to protect some 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation.

The White House said it will not negotiate with the Democrats on immigration until the end of the federal government shutdown.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that, "We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands."

She added: "When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform."

Republicans branded the confrontation a "Schumer shutdown" and argued that Democrats were harming fellow Americans to protect "illegal immigrants."

Many of the immediate effects of the government shutdown will be muted for most Americans, as it comes on a Friday night.

Social Security and most other safety net programs are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay.

But if no deal is brokered before Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are set to be furloughed.

The White House and Capitol Hill will be working with skeleton staffs, but some government agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, have said they were able to shift funding around to keep most workers on the job. National parks and federal museums will be open, but with potentially reduced services.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Sponsor Content


You must be signed in to post comments
  • hah406
    January 19, 2018 at 8:58 a.m.

    This is a problem that needs to be solved and needs to be solved now. Trump started it by ending DACA and holding the dreamers hostage. Protecting them and allowing them to stay legally is the ethically and morally correct thing to do. It isn't a hard choice when 80% of people want that to happen. Why can't moral cowards like Cotton and McConnell just do it and keep the government open?

  • PopMom
    January 19, 2018 at 11:14 a.m.


    The Republicans have been shoving everything down the Democrats’ throats, and now, they expect cooperation without any concessions. Unbelievable.

    January 19, 2018 at 11:29 a.m.

    The GOP owns this 100%.

  • Slak
    January 19, 2018 at 12:01 p.m.

    Naively, RR trusted the Dems to follow through with their promise to fix border security later in exchange for immediately converting millions of illegal immigrants into Democrat voters.
    Of course the duplicitous Dems were lying and today we see the result of that Democrat treachery. Dems are back at the table holding the entire US government hostage as they wangle to get millions more illegal immigrants transformed into Democrat voters.
    Trump didn't make that mistake. Secure in the knowledge that YOU CANNOT TRUST THE LYING DEMS, he refuses to fall for the same scam.
    Any American who believes that giving amnesty to illegal aliens without fixing border security is a good thing for America is a fool or a traitor. That approach is nothing more than a Democrat con game for endless rounds of ILLEGAL aliens being converted into Dem voters far into the future.

  • hah406
    January 19, 2018 at 12:44 p.m.

    Slak, you are full of BS today. The Dems haven't had a chance to fix border security because Cotton and Trump torpedoed the bipartisan agreement that included a couple of billion to work on a section of the wall this year! Dreamers aren't criminals. We don't hold the son responsible for the crimes of the father in this country, in case you have forgotten. As for trust, it is Trump who publically lies 5.5 times per day on average.
    Finally, you do realize that the vast majority of illegal immigrants arrive on airplanes. They fly in legally and then overstay their visas. Much greater numbers than those coming from Mexico. Why doesn't the GOP focus on that as a much larger immigration problem than the southern border?

  • Slak
    January 19, 2018 at 12:54 p.m.

    Hah agrees that holding the entire US government hostage as a tactic to convert illegal immigrants into Democrat voters is a good thing.
    This is why they are called useful idiots.
    Some would call them traitors to the American way of life.

  • mozarky2
    January 19, 2018 at 1:48 p.m.

    The Schumer Schutdown will not be kind to dims, I promise.

    January 19, 2018 at 2:05 p.m.

    See my comment above, moz. This is completely on the GOP's hands, no matter how many idiotic protestations to the contrary are spewed by the Reich-wing lie patrol.

  • Packman
    January 19, 2018 at 2:06 p.m.

    Shumer's a lying sack of sh*t. So long as it takes 60 votes in the Senate the Republicans are not in need charge.
    Hey hah - Why can't Shumer support the bi-partisan bill that was approved in the House? Democrats own thIs 100%.
    Democrats desire to shut down the federal government knowing it will harm legal residents just to appease criminals illegally residing in America. Let that soak in for a minute.
    Shut it down! Let the career politicians explain to their constituents how they are so inept they allowed it to happen. This can only turn out bad for Trump's enemies. Shut it down and keep it that way until Dems come to Trump on their knees begging him for forgiveness. SHUT IT DOWN!

  • wildblueyonder
    January 19, 2018 at 2:09 p.m.

    There has been NOTHING bipartisan since Trump took office! That is a bunch of bs. Show me any "concessions" the Dems have made on anything. There aren't any! Voters can see through this ruse, they aren't like you,