The US government is paralyzed from midnight

 

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An hour after the House of Representatives, the US Senate also adjourned Friday night without being able to reach an agreement to avoid the partial paralysis of the federal government at midnight.

Senators gave themselves rendezvous at noon on Saturday to resume negotiations.

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The main representatives of Mr. Trump tried to negotiate a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some Republican lawmakers. However, despite the presence of the vice president Mike Pence, the Acting Chief of Staff of the White House Mick Mulvaney and close adviser to President Jared Kushner, no agreement has been concluded.

President Donald Trump insists on a budget of five billion dollars for the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border. A request that the Democratic Party strongly rejects.

Without an agreement on the budget, financing about 25 percent of the US federal government activities end at midnight.

Nine departments and dozens of agencies are affected including homeland security, transportation, agriculture and justice. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will find themselves on leave or are forced to work without pay few days before Christmas.

At the signing of a bill to the White House, Donald Trump said the government was « fully prepared for a very long paralysis », although almost no one expects such a thing.

The president has tried to blame the Democrats, although he argued last week that it would be « proud » to claim responsibility paralysis of the government in its struggle for the construction of the wall. Campaigning it two years ago, Mr. Trump declared that the wall would erect « so fast you’ll headaches. » He also promised that Mexico would pay the price, what Mexico said he never will.

« This is our only chance (…) to have excellent security at the border, » said Donald Trump Friday at the White House. Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in January and will oppose the massive financing of the construction of a wall.

There is just one week, Mr. Trump insisted in a televised meeting that was held in the White House to take responsibility for a partial suspension of the activities of government in order to get the Wall its border. « It is I who shut up, » he said.

But with hours elapsing before the deadline of midnight, he sought to redefine the debate and blame Democrats deadlock that threatens hundreds of thousands of federal employees during the holiday season.

The White House said that Mr. Trump would not go to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holidays if the government was closing.

 

 

 

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The american federal government posted a $666 billion deficit in the just-completed fiscal year 2017, the Treasury Department announced Friday, marking another year of deteriorating finances as the government slinks back toward the trillion-dollar mark.

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It’s a black eye for both President Trump and former President Barack Obama, who split responsibility for the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2016, and ran through Sept. 30.

The deficit is the worst since 2013.

Federal spending grew twice as fast as revenue, accounting for the massive jump in red ink, which rose $80 billion over last year’s $586 billion total.

The figures come just as Republicans are hoping to pass a budget that could lead to even deeper deficits in the near future, and could complicate the GOP’s path to a major tax overhaul.

But Trump administration officials sought to use the numbers to bolster their case for tax cuts, blaming “historically subpar economic growth” for the fiscal struggles.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that the administration has concluded Congress isn’t interested in trimming the budget, so there’s only one option.

“We had offered $54 billion worth of discretionary cuts in our budget back in March. Only about $4 billion or $5 billion had survived so far on the Hill. We’re not going to be able to cut our way to balance,” Mr. Mulvaney told “Face the Nation” on CBS.

“So the next part of the plan, the next part of that — sort of the calculus, right [that] deficits are revenues less expenditures — is to focus on the revenues. How do we get government revenues up?” he said.

The biggest drivers of the spending increases were Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the large entitlement programs that budget watchdogs say will eventually break the federal budget.

Social Security and Medicare increases were a reflection of the aging population, while Medicaid’s increase was due to Obamacare expansion, the CBO said in its analysis of the numbers.

But President Trump has said he won’t consider changes to those programs — a vow Mr. Mulvaney said the president has reiterated to him in recent days — so there’s little chance of a solution there.

Spending on Obamacare’s subsidies for health plans purchased on the exchanges soared by 27 percent as taxpayers had to cover ever-rising premiums within the struggling marketplaces.

The Defense Department, by contrast, grew at just 1 percent.

Other big changes were spikes in loan guarantee costs at the Education and Housing and Urban Development departments.

Interest on the debt also soared by 10 percent.

Veterans Affairs spending grew by $9 billion as the department tried to keep up with growing demand and the fallout from the waitlist scandal that led to a new program allowing veterans to seek care at private clinics and have the government reimburse those costs.

 

 

 

 

 

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