US government shut down - time for Americans and their lawmakers to face global reality in the 21st Century

US government shut down - time for Americans and their lawmakers to face global reality in the 21st Century

KUALA LUMPUR (January 2018): The US and its lawmakers must face reality and change for real global progress in the 21st Century Digital World.

They must stop their “global business as usual”, change and transform for progress and their future.

I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road opines that it was time for them to stop waging wars with sovereign states and to focus all their attention on healing the US economy that has reportedly amassed a national debt of up to US$222 trillion.

In short, the US must start learning how to mind their own business.

The recent government shutdown has shamed and embarrassed not only President Donald Trump but the US administration.

If lawmakers from both sides of the political divide (Republicans and Democrats) cannot even make sane decisions to keep the government going smoothly for the people and country, how can their global views and stand be credible or sane?

Would the rest of the world believe in the US when it demonises sovereign states like China and Russia?

Trump, a highly successful businessman, would surely be remembered a great US president if he stops minding other people’s business, focus and concentrate on reducing his country’s national debt significantly.

And, the Americans who elected him should give him all the space and reasonable time to do just that.

If Trump cannot even get the budget approval for the US administration, then where are the Americans heading?

And the government shut down is probably due to the sluggish domestic and global economy that had resulted in a split in the US elections resulting in a lame duck president.

Here’s what CBS News reported:

"CBS NEWS January 19, 2018, 10:02 PM

Government shuts down on one-year anniversary of Trump presidency

Last Updated Jan 20, 2018 3:07 AM EST

A Senate attempt to move forward with a short-term spending bill vote failed Friday night, sending the government into a shutdown on the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration.

Republican senators failed to capture the 60 votes they needed to even vote on the bill that would have funded the government for 30 days. Five Democrats voted with the Republicans to push a spending bill vote, and four Republicans voted with Democrats. The House passed the 30-day spending bill Thursday night. Debate over what to do next continues Saturday, with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, saying he would be open to a three-week continuing resolution (CR), instead of a four-week one.

The Senate adjourned early Saturday and will reconvene at noon. McConnell told senators they should expect votes on Saturday.

Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, told reporters after the vote that the Senate can't get a straight answer from Mr. Trump on where he stands on immigration. Flake voted against the short-term funding bill, putting him against McConnell.

"Because lets face it, we just can't get a straight answer from the White House," Flake said. "They're one place one day, and another place the next."

Flake and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who also voted against the bill, said that they received a commitment from McConnell that he'll allow the Senate to take up an immigration reform bill if 60 Senators will commit to vote for it, regardless of how Mr. Trump feels about the bill.

After midnight, McConnell blamed Democrats for "the shoe-horning of illegal immigration into this debate." But Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said he even offered full funding for the border wall in an earlier meeting Friday with Mr. Trump.

"Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal," said Schumer, who also noticed that a handful of Republicans voted with Democrats and blamed "discord" on the Republican side.

The White House called a lid shortly before 11 p.m. Friday, meaning the president will not be speaking — unless he tweets. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blamed Democrats for the shutdown.

"Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown," she said. "Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the president and his administration will fight for and protect the American people."

Vice President Mike Pence, on board Air Force Two on his way to the Middle East, issued this statement.

"Our administration worked in good faith to put a bipartisan deal on the table that would strengthen our borders, end chain migration, eliminate the visa lottery, and deal compassionately with DACA," Pence said. "But rather than solve problems, Democratic leadership preferred a shutdown that has dangerous consequences for our national defense. Their action tonight — or lack thereof — is unconscionable. Our administration will do everything within our power to support the brave men and women in uniform who stand on the front lines of freedom. But as of tonight, due to a completely avoidable government shutdown, they'll stand their post without pay."

On Capitol Hill Friday night, the scene was one of uncertainty and chaos.

Shortly before the 10 p.m. vote, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said there was "no deal" reached among Republicans to ensure passage. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, announced he was a "no" on the 30-day deal, making a shutdown even more certain.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said blamed Mr. Trump, at least partially, for the failure to reach a deal. Blumenthal said that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and Mr. Trump were close to reaching a comprehensive agreement earlier Friday, but the president walked away after talking to the hard right.

"It's one step forward with the White House, four steps back," said a senior Democratic Senate aide who noted it's unclear who among Republicans is in charge of negotiations. The White House is telling Democrats to negotiate with McConnell, who is still unclear what it exactly is that the president wants.

"It's like negotiating with Jell-O," the aide told CBS News' Nancy Cordes, adding, "the talks won't wrap up unless the president takes the reins."

Mr. Trump tweeted just before 9:30 p.m. Friday that it was "not looking good" and invoked the military and border security. He blamed Democrats, saying they "want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for booming economy." It was the last statement he made before the government shut down.

Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy.

10:28 AM - Jan 20, 2018

Senate leadership and the White House were negotiating over two parallel issues — how long a government funding bill should last and what it should include, and what to include in a bill to protect DACA "Dreamers" and improve border security, a source told Cordes. The Senate Democratic Caucus met at 8:30 p.m. meeting to discuss strategy, while House Democrats scheduled a meeting for 10 a.m. on Saturday, suggesting they expected a shutdown before it happened.

On Friday night, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said he still thought it was possible to reach a short-term spending deal Friday night, but that a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unlikely in the next 48 hours.

Late Friday afternoon, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney floated the possibility of weekend votes.

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Trump spoke with Ryan by phone, according to a source familiar with the communication.

Before that, Schumer went to the White House after an invitation from President Trump. The president, his chief of staff, John Kelly, and Schumer and his chief of staff met alone in the Oval Office, CBS News' Margaret Brennan reports, according to a White House official. Schumer told reporters afterward that progress had been made, but there was no deal.

Meanwhile, the executive branch Friday was releasing plans for a shutdown.

A senior White House official on a conference call Friday night said the president could still travel to Davos, Switzerland, on Air Force One in the event of the shutdown, because funding for such travel is at his discretion. Mr. Trump had been scheduled to leave Washington for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend on Friday, but the White House canceled his scheduled departure.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it would extend the declaration of a public health emergency for the opioid crisis. The initial declaration was to expire on Wednesday.

Mulvaney sent a memo of frequently asked questions and answers regarding what to do in a shutdown to department and agency heads.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt issued a memo to employees stating the agency has enough funding for now, and directing employees to come into work next week, no matter what happens.

Capitol Lounge, a favorite spot for Capitol Hill staffers, began advertising drink specials starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, including, "To Flake or not to Flake," and "Have you ever met a Haitian?"

The House passed the bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR), in a 230-197 vote Thursday night. Afterward, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said he was urging Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, not to shut down the government.

"The only people standing in the way of keeping the government open are Senate Democrats," Ryan said Thursday night.

The CR includes a six-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and delays on three Obamacare taxes. Shortly before the vote, the House Freedom Caucus said a majority of its members had voted to approve the measure, making passage more certain.

This marks the fourth short-term spending bill Congress has had on its plate since September. Democrats, however, remain largely opposed to the measure because they want it tied to a larger immigration deal over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and border security.

The government last shut down in October 2013 for 16 days after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, led an unsuccessful effort to defund Obamacare. Republicans went on to retake control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. It's unclear how a government shutdown would affect either party in this year's midterm elections in November.

CBS News' Rebecca Shabad, Kathryn Watson, Jacqueline Alemany and Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. (to view two video clips, go to"

"CBS/AP January 19, 2018, 2:46 PM

What to know about a government shutdown

Last Updated Jan 20, 2018 2:42 AM EST

The Senate failed to reach a deal to fund the government, officially shutting down the government for the first time since 2013. Federal agencies have been preparing for the possibility of a shutdown, putting together lists of their essential services and the employees needed to perform those services.

"We're ready if that's what happens. We hope not," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Essential workers would remain on duty, but hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be idled, and some other services that are deemed non-essential would stop.

Here are the answers to some of the questions about the impact of a government shutdown:
Will Social Security payments stop during a shutdown?

No. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment payments would continue.
Would food aid programs be affected?

Federal school breakfast and lunch programs would continue, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) would also continue to be funded. But the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program might be affected.
Can I still get a passport?

Maybe. But it's probably best to hurry up with that application. The State Department says that processing will continue as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations, Kylie Atwood reports. But if a passport agency in a government building has been closed because of a shutdown, that facility may also be closed.
How will the military be affected by a shutdown?

The 1.3 million uniformed military personnel would still be on duty. National security operations would continue. The military would continue to operate normally, at least in the near term, in the event of a partial government shutdown. All military members would be required to report for work as usual. Paychecks would be delayed only if the shutdown lasted beyond Feb. 1, because pay is issued only twice a month, on the first and the 15th.
What about veterans?

Military retirees will still receive their benefit checks, VA disability pay and GI Bill payments during a shutdown. However, the families of service members killed in action during the shutdown will not receive their $100,000 death gratuity while the shutdown is in effect, and would not be flown on government plains to a military funeral or dignified transfer of remains, according to
What about economic data?

Data collected by government agencies to measure U.S. economic activity would stop -- statistics on unemployment and job growth, on the housing market and on inflation, for example, would not be released on their regular schedules. Reports on new home sales and on GDP were to be released next week.
What about the Justice Department?

It's complicated, but a significant percentage of DOJ employees continue working in the event of a shutdown.

According to its contingency plan, the Justice Department, with nearly 115,000 employees, has a "high percentage" of employees who would be able to keep working because they have national security, law enforcement and criminal justice system responsibilities relating to safety or protection of property. Those employees are excepted from the shutdown. Other DOJ employees may be excepted because their work has been funded for multi-year appropriations.
What does the shutdown have to do with the flu?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that under a shutdown, its capacity to track and respond to disease outbreaks would be affected. For instance, flu surveillance data being reported by states and hospitals would still be collected. But limited staff resources would mean reviewing, analyzing and reporting out the information necessary for public health action would take longer.
Will the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) keep working?

About 95 percent of the agency's personnel would receive furlough notices in a government shutdown. A small number of employees would be allowed to continue for emergency essential activity and very specific investigative work. Under a shutdown, the NTSB would be able to launch investigations into major accidents involving significant casualties and other accidents if failing to go forward with an investigation would create a significant risk to transportation safety.

The NTSB would also be able to continue any ongoing investigation activities and produce reports that are considered absolutely necessary to prevent the imminent potential for loss of life and significant property damage if the NTSB doesn't act.

But other ongoing investigations would be halted, which would delay the NTSB in finishing reports and issuing recommendations that are considered not to be urgent.

A prolonged shutdown could have an adverse impact on NTSB investigations, which was the case during the 2013 shutdown.
But FAA and TSA will still be on the job?

Air traffic controllers and most aviation inspectors would keep working. The more than 43,000 front-line TSA officers at airport screening checkpoints would continue working, so from an operational standpoint the airports won't be impacted, but those employees would be working without pay until the government is funded. At that point, they'd get backpay. but a lengthy shutdown would cause hardship for some employees.

Agency staff was told to submit its list of essential employees to the chief of staff by the end of Thursday so determinations can be made Friday who gets furloughed and who doesn't.
Will mail still be delivered?

Yes, because the Post Office is self-funded, post office workers will keep delivering mail throughout the shutdown.
What about museum visits? Go soon

The Smithsonian museums and its National Zoo will remain open for the weekend, but they would be closed beginning Monday, Jan. 22, the Smithsonian Institution says. The Smithsonian also has two museums in New York City that would be closed – the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and Heye Center, a branch of the National Museum of the American Indian.

The popular National Zoo live-animal cameras, including the panda cam, would also cease broadcasting. But all the animals will continue to be fed and cared for at the National Zoo. This is the same procedure followed during the 2013 government shutdown.
What about national parks -- will they be open?

Unlike past shutdowns, the Interior Department plans to keep national parks and other public lands "as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures," according to a spokesperson. In Washington, D.C., war memorials and open air parks will remain open. Many national parks, refuges and other public lands "will still try to allow limited access wherever possible," according to the Interior Department. However, park services requiring staffing, like maintaining campgrounds, full-service restrooms and concessions, will not be operational.
Will this affect the State of the Union?

President Trump has been invited to address a joint session of Congress to deliver his State of the Union address on Jan. 30. Should there be a shutdown, it's possible the speech could still be delivered because lawmakers will be there, and the building will still be open to the press. Capitol Police will be on duty.

It's likely a shutdown would be resolved by Jan. 30. Otherwise, House Speaker Paul Ryan could postpone the invitation, or the president could deliver the speech, although it would be politically awkward for Mr. Trump to deliver the address while parts of the government are closed.
Will federal workers still be paid?

Whether they work through a partial shutdown or not, federal workers can't get paid during a lapse in funding. In the past, however, they have been repaid retroactively, even if they were ordered to stay home.
Can federal workers volunteer to keep working?

Nope, not according to the Office of Personnel Management, which says that unless workers are authorized by law, they can't volunteer their services during a shutdown.

CBS News' Kris Van Kleave, Rebecca Shabad, Steven Portnoy, Paula Reid, Emily Tillett, Kylie Atwood, John Nolen, and Nancy Cordes contributed to this report.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.