WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump blamed Democrats on Monday for the partial shutdown of the government, which began on Saturday, and said they were catering to the interests of the far left and were giving preference to non-citizens over citizens.
“The Democrats are turning down services and security for citizens in favor of services and security for non-citizens. Not good!” Trump tweeted.
The president added that “Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base.”
Trump’s words came at the start of the third day of a partial government shutdown, which will now have more impact since this is the first workday since it took effect.
Some 800,000 “non-essential” government employees, out of a total 3.5 million, will be staying home with their pay suspended until Congress reaches an agreement.
After spending the weekend in fruitless negotiations to put together a budget deal, the US Senate will vote Monday in an attempt to reopen the federal government.
The senators will put to a vote a bill that would keep the government operative until next Feb. 8.
Last Friday the Democrats blocked approval of funds to finance the government by tying their support for the budget to Trump and the Republicans regularizing the status of the 800,000 undocumented youths in the US known as Dreamers.
The program with which former President Barack Obama protected those young people from deportation, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), expires next March 5, after being annulled last September by Trump.
For their part, the Republicans demand that Democrats approve funds in the new budget to build a wall on the Mexican border, one of Trump’s controversial campaign promises.