WASHINGTON – The United States government began a partial shutdown of its activities at midnight Saturday after Senate Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement on the funding of the federal government.
The shutdown coincides with the first anniversary of US President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The last 16-day long US Government shutdown due to lack of funds occurred in October 2013, during Barack Obama’s tenure.
In 2013, approximately 800,000 federal employees were indefinitely furloughed, museums and national parks were closed, and experimental treatments at federal medical research centers were canceled.
The Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, warned that some military operations would be also suspended during the shutdown, although it would not affect the US military’s war in Afghanistan or its operations against the Islamic State terror organization.
The White House has blamed the Democrats for the shutdown, after they refused to negotiate with Republicans until an agreement is reached that protects the status of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children, known as “Dreamers.”