What Does The Partial U.S. Government Shutdown Mean, Now That It Has Happened?

The United States government officially went into a partial shutdown at midnight Eastern time, 11 p.m. Central, on Friday night. The Senate adjourned a few hours before the looming midnight deadline, meaning certain government employees will now be expected to continue working through the holidays without pay — at least until later.

So when the clock struck midnight on the East Coast, a few hundred thousand federal employees will now start working without pay until further notice.

Congress has already approved funding for about 75 percent of federal offices. While that sounds like a hefty amount, there would still be roughly 420,000 workers affected.

The shutdown is because of a stalemate over a couple hundred million dollars — and ultimately the Senate not willing to approve an additional $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern border.

This is the third shutdown in 2018 — the first time in 40 years there has been three government shutdowns in one calendar year. The other shutdowns this year happened in January and again in early February.

Before the Senate adjourned Friday night, it passed a bill that would make sure furloughed federal employees got back pay. Such workers would include those from the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Interior Department,the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Departments affected include wroekrs from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, the National Park Service and other employees who would be expected to work without a guaranteed paycheck, or placed on furlough, until a deal is reached.

President Donald Trump told the country he would not sign a spending bill that didn't include a $5 billion wall along the Mexican border — something he campaigned hard for during the 2016 presidential election.

The Senate passed a bill late Wednesday that didn't include a border wall, but the House placed an amendment on that bill to include a wall, and they approved $5.7 billion for it.

However, the president would need 60 votes in the Senate, and he doesn't have that backing — not even with more Republicans taking seats next month when, subsequently, the Democrats regain control of the House.

President Trump tweeted this video Friday night, reiterating his call for a border wall to stop illegal immigration, drugs and human trafficking crossing the southern border.


— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2018

Trump told reporters Friday he expected a shutdown. In his highly-televised meeting with top Democrat leaders — Senator Chuck Schumer and Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi — Trump urged the passing of a border wall along the southern border. The Democrat response was that Trump had a Republican Congress the last two years, and that he should've used his leverage then.

The Democrats released this statement shortly after the shutdown: "Regrettably, America has now entered a Trump shutdown," Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement. Here's the full statement.

Regrettably, America has now entered a #TrumpShutdown. My statement with @NancyPelosi: pic.twitter.com/Z2ZIbTY72W

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 22, 2018

Trump previously said any shutdown would be on his shoulders. But that tone changed in the last week, including Friday.

"It's really the Democrat shutdown, because we've done our thing," Trump said. "Now it's up to the Democrats as to whether we have a shutdown tonight. I hope we don't, but we're totally prepared for a very long shutdown."

Scott Gottlieb the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said he'll closely monitor the shutdown and prepare for all possibilities to protect consumers.

I’m closely monitoring how a potential lapse in government funding may impact FDA. Our teams are preparing for all possibilities. I’ll continue to communicate to staff and the American public as the situation unfolds. #FDA is at our post and we will continue to protect consumers

— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) December 22, 2018