US Senate reaches deal to avert government shutdown

The US Senate is poised to end the government shutdown, having come to an agreement on temporary funding in exchange for immigration-policy overhaul in the coming month.

The spending bill will fund the US government until February 8, according to reports from Washington, DC.

Democrats and Republicans could not agree on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open by midnight last Friday.

“We will vote today to reopen the government,” Democrat Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The disagreement was rooted in protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors.

Popularly called “Dreamers”, they were placed in danger of deportation by President Donald Trump when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme in September.

Republicans passed a CR to fund the government on Friday evening, but it did not feature protections for DACA recipients and was not supported by Democrats.

Republican Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, also said in the Senate that “at noon, every senator can vote to end this government shutdown”.

Trump has stated he would support a CR.

The shutdown entered its first work day on Monday morning.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s estimated that each week of a government shutdown would cost the US economy roughly $6bn.

The vote to fund the government will take place later on Monday.

Read More