WASHINGTON (AP) — A partial federal shutdown took hold early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to start erecting his cherished Mexican border wall, a chaotic postscript for Republicans in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.
Vice President Mike Pence, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney left the Capitol late Friday after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no apparent compromise. “We don’t have a deal. We’re still talking,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters.
Late Friday, Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown.” He wrote that administration officials were “hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration” — an expectation that was widely shared.
With negotiations expected to continue, the House and Senate both scheduled rare Saturday sessions. House members were told they’d get 24 hours’ notice before a vote.
The gridlock blocks money for nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice.
Modern American politics has reached a new level of partisanship and polarization that judges leaders like President Trump not on their accomplishments but their party, according to a new survey.
The Democrat-Republican partisan gap, which reached a record 70 points under former President Barack Obama, has now grown to 77 points and appears to overshadow the types of rallies in approval ratings past presidents had, according to a new Gallup analysis.
“Presidents today may now be judged simply by Americans on shared or divergent partisanship rather than on the president’s accomplishments in office or on the state of the nation,” said the polling service.
The trend started during the Reagan administration and increased under Obama, who Gallup noted maintained the same low presidential approval ratings in his second term that Trump has now.
“Many of these patterns under Trump were in place before he took office. Polarization in presidential approval ratings began to expand under Reagan and has accelerated with each president since Clinton. And while Obama had a strong honeymoon, his support generally held in the 40s after that until his last year in office. Obama’s approval rating did not increase significantly in response to a number of events between 2010 and 2015 that arguably could have produced rallies,” said Gallup.