Government Shutdown Ended by Short-Term Spending Bill

The federal government shutdown that began at midnight on Friday, Jan. 19 ended three days later on Monday with the passage of a bill that will fund the federal government until Feb. 8, allowing government employees to return to work the following Tuesday.

The government shutdown occurred after Congress was unable to pass a new government funding law. Disagreement between Republicans and Democrats was mainly over the DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] program and the legal protection of recipients. The Trump administration had ended DACA in Sept. 2017, but the program had recently been temporarily reinstated.

The short-term spending bill was approved by Congress on Monday as a compromise between the Democrats and the Republicans in order to end the shutdown. The bill included six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but did not make a decision concerning DACA.

Republicans and Democrats will continue to discuss the federal budget and the future of the DACA program and its current recipients. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, promised for a “level playing field” on immigration and a decision by mid-February, but DACA supporters have expressed disappointment with the Democrats compromise on the issue.

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