US government goes back to work

SHAWN THEW

The US Capitol at sunrise in Washington, DC, USA, 10 January 2017.

US government goes back to work


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The US government is resuming work after a deal was reached in the US Senate on Monday.

The deal will keep the US government in operation until February 8, until which it is hoped a new agreement might be reached. Otherwise, the US is looking at the possibility of yet another shutdown.

For the last three days, thousands of federal employees were forced into a leave of absence without pay, after the government was shut-down for three days. The shutdown process begins with non-essential employees, with public order and national security being prioritized.

This has been the second shutdown of its kind since October 2013.

Democrats refused to vote for a bill that would allow the US government to lift a debt ceiling unless President Donald Trump was willing to provide a resolution for the so-called Dreamers. Dreamers are the 700,000 second-generation migrants who came as children to the United States with their parents. President Obama protected these migrants – born and raised in the United States – by a process called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca). That measure did not offer naturalization but deferred deportation.

President Trump did not renew the Daca programme, demanding from Democrats funding for his border wall project along the borders with Mexico. President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise that Mexico would pay for that wall.

The Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer lambasted President Donald Trump for failing to negotiate a bipartisan deal on the matter. However, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell committed to considering legislation to address the Dreamers issue. The negotiations will continue  (or has just started).

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