US government shuts down as partisan blame game heats up

FILE - In this June 20, 2017, file photo, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, at sunrise. There’ll be two new faces in the Senate and plenty of familiar but stubborn problems facing Congress in 2018, starting with a Jan. 19 deadline to reach a bipartisan budget pact and avert a partial government shutdown (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government has shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday. That has halted all but the most essential operations and marred the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction.

Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century. Behind the scenes, however, leading Republicans and Democrats were trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown.

Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure.

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