US government in shutdown again as Senate misses midnight funding deadline

Written by on February 9, 2018

The US government has officially shut down for the second time this year because Congress failed to meet a deadline to vote on a new budget. Senators debated all night, and have voted to pass the bill, which must now pass to the House.

The 600-page plan proposes an increase in spending, by about $300bn (£215bn), on defence and domestic services. But lawmakers struggled to overcome last-minute objections from Republican Senator Rand Paul. Federal funding for government services formally expired at midnight. Talks are continuing, with the hope that the shutdown can be rescinded before midday today.

For that to happen, the plan must also be passed in the House of Representatives and signed by the president. It is not yet clear how Congress will proceed and how public services may be affected on Friday.

The federal Office of Personnel Management said government operations would “vary by agency” and employees should “refer to their home agency for guidance on reporting for duty”.

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