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    Feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress are trying to dodge blame for a paralyzing standoff over immigration and showing few signs of progress on negotiations needed to end a government shutdown.The finger-pointing Saturday played out in rare weekend proceedings in both the House and Senate, where lawmakers were eager to show voters they were actively working for a solution — or at least actively making their case why the other party was at fault. The scene highlighted the political stakes for both parties in an election-year shutdown whose consequences were far from clear.'The American people cannot begin to understand why the Senate Democratic leader thinks the entire government should be shut down until he gets his way on illegal immigration,' said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hours after a last-chance Senate vote failed.Democrats refused to provide the votes needed to reopen the government until they strike a deal with President Donald Trump protecting young immigrants from deportation, providing disaster relief and boosting spending for opioid treatment and other domestic programs.Democrats feel 'very, very strongly about the issues' said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, adding that he believes 'the American people are on our side.'The fighting followed a late-night vote in which Senate Democrats blocked a House-passed measure that would have kept agencies functioning for four weeks.Republicans began the day hopeful they might pick off Democratic support for a three-week version and bring the episode to a quick end. Democrats are insisting on an alternative lasting only several days — which they think would pressure Republicans to cut an immigration deal — and say they'll kill the three-week version when the Senate votes on it by early Monday.The shutdown came on the anniversary of Trump's inauguration. As lawmakers bickered in the Capitol, protesters marched outside in a reprise of the women's march from a year ago. The president remained out of sight and canceled plans to travel to his resort in Florida for the weekend. He did tweet, making light of the timing by saying Democrats 'wanted to give me a nice present' to mark the start of his second year in office.Trump worked the phones, staying in touch with McConnell, while White House legislative affairs director Marc Short and budget chief Mick Mulvaney met at the Capitol with House Republicans. GOP lawmakers voiced support for the White House stance of not negotiating while the government was shuttered.Tempers were short and theatrics high. Lawmakers bickered over blame, hypocrisy and even the posters brought to the House floor. While neither chamber voted on a measure to open the government, the House did vote on whether a poster displayed by Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama violated the House rules on decorum. The House voted to allow the poster, which bore a photo of Schumer and the quote 'the politics of idiocy.'While Republicans blamed the breakdown on Schumer, Democrats increasingly focused their messaging on criticizing Trump, whose popularity is dismal. Democrats were using his zigzagging stance in immigration talks — first encouraging deals, then rejecting them — to underscore his first, chaotic year in office.'Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O,' Schumer said.Short compared Democrats' actions to 'a 2-year-old temper tantrum.'Republicans seemed content to hope additional Democrats will break as pressure builds and the impact of the shutdown becomes clearer.In the late-night vote blocking the bill preventing a shutdown, five Democrats from states Trump won in the 2016 election voted to keep government functioning. In a sign that moderates are feeling pressure, more than a dozen centrist senators from both parties have been trying to craft an immigration and spending compromise that party leaders would embrace, but they've fallen short so far.Republicans argued that Democrats were blocking extra Pentagon funds by keeping government closed and thwarting a long-term budget deal.'I question if Senate Democrats are really united,' Short told reporters. 'We think there'll be more today and hopefully they'll continue to see that it's not wise to hold our troops hostage.'But pressure on Republicans could mount with the new workweek Monday and the impact of the federal shutdown becomes more apparent to people.While the Statue of Liberty — the nation's emblem of its immigrant past — and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell were closed Saturday, visitors had access to other iconic national parks like Yellowstone. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tweeted a photo of himself talking to students at the World War II Memorial in Washington, blocks from White House.Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is reached before Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed.For leverage, Democrats were banking on Trump's wobbly presidency and the GOP's control of the White House, the House and Senate — a triumvirate that until now had never allowed a government closure to occur.'Republicans in Congress plunged head-first into the Trump shutdown,' Schumer told reporters. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Republicans 'so incompetent and negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep the government open.'Which party's strategy would succeed remained open to debate.Retired Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., a veteran of shutdown wars, said he believed Democrats believe 'the more chaos they can create the better.' He said Schumer's tough strategy was 'a gross overplaying of his hand' and predicted Democrats would eventually relent.Former Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said both parties needed to be cautious.'It's obvious that Democrats are playing to their base and Republicans are playing to their base,' he said. 'Everybody loses. It just feeds into the fed-up atmosphere of the American people.'Democrats have been seeking a deal to protect so-called Dreamers. Around 700,000 of them have been shielded against deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which Trump halted last year. He's given lawmakers until early March to pass legislation restoring the protections, but he's demanded added money for his proposed border wall with Mexico as a price.___Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Richard Lardner and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
  • Thousands of federal employees began their weekends gripped with doubt, uncertain of when they'll be able to return to work and how long they'll have to go without being paid after a bitter political dispute in Washington triggered a government shutdown.Many government operations will continue — U.S. troops will stay at their posts and mail will get delivered. But almost half the 2 million civilian federal workers will be barred from doing their jobs if the shutdown extends into Monday.The longer the shutdown continues, the more likely its impact will be felt. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Republicans and Democrats share the blame.'Political gamesmanship, an unwillingness to compromise, and a lack of resolve on both sides have led us to this point,' McCain said in a statement Saturday.How key parts of the federal government would be affected by a shutdown:___IRSA shutdown plan posted on the Treasury Department's website shows that nearly 44 percent of the IRS' 80,565 employees will be exempt from being furloughed during a shutdown. That would mean nearly 45,500 IRS employees will be sent home just as the agency is preparing for the start of the tax filing season and ingesting the sweeping changes made by the new GOP tax law.The Republican architects of the tax law have promised that millions of working Americans will see heftier paychecks next month, with less money withheld by employers in anticipation of lower income taxes. The IRS recently issued new withholding tables for employers.But Marcus Owens, who for 10 years headed the IRS division dealing with charities and political organizations, said it's a 'virtual certainty' that the larger paychecks will be delayed if there's a lengthy government shutdown.___HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENTHalf of the more than 80,000 employees will be sent home. Key programs will continue to function because their funding has ongoing authorization and doesn't depend on annual approval by Congress. But critical disruptions could occur across the vast jurisdiction of HHS programs — including the seasonal flu program.Medicare, which insures nearly 59 million seniors and disabled people, will keep going. And so will Medicaid, which covers more than 74 million low-income and disabled people, including most nursing home residents.States will continue to receive payments for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers about 9 million kids. However, long-term funding for the program will run out soon unless Congress acts to renew it.Deep into a tough flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be unable to support the government's annual seasonal flu program. And CDC's ability to respond to disease outbreaks will be significantly reduced.___JUSTICE DEPARTMENTMany of the nearly 115,000 Justice Department employees have national security and public safety responsibilities that allow them to keep working during a shutdown. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election will also continue working. His office is paid for indefinitely.The more than 95,000 employees who are 'exempted' include most of the members of the national security division, U.S. attorneys, and most of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service and federal prison employees. Criminal cases will continue, but civil cases will be postponed as long as doing so doesn't compromise public safety. Most law enforcement training will be canceled, per the department's contingency plan.___STATE DEPARTMENTMany State Department operations will continue in a shutdown. Passport and visa processing, which are largely self-funded by consumer fees, will not shut down. The agency's main headquarters in Washington, in consultation with the nearly 300 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions around the world, will draw up lists of nonessential employees who will be furloughed.Department operations will continue through the weekend and staffers will be instructed to report for work as usual on Monday to find out whether they have been furloughed.___DEFENSE DEPARTMENTThe U.S. military will continue to fight wars and conduct missions around the world, including in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. And members of the military will report to work, though they won't get paid until Congress approves funding.Mattis said in a departmentwide memo Friday that 'ships and submarines will remain at sea, our aircraft will continue to fly and our warfighters will continue to pursue terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.'But Mattis said during remarks on Friday at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies that a shutdown will still have far-reaching effects on the Defense Department.Weapons and equipment maintenance will shut down, military intelligence operations would stop and training for most of the reserve force would be put on hold, he said. And any National Guard forces heading out to do weekend training duty around the country will arrive at armories and be told to go home.___U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIESThe workforce at the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies will be pared down significantly, according to a person familiar with contingency procedures.The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, said employees who are considered essential and have to work will do so with no expectation of a regular paycheck.While they can be kept on the job, federal workers can't be paid for days worked during a shutdown. In the past, however, they have been paid retroactively even if they were ordered to stay home.___HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENTA department spokesman said nearly 90 percent of Homeland Security employees are considered essential and will continue to perform their duties during a government shutdown.That means most Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration workers will stay on the job, according to the department's shutdown plan, dated Friday.Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be staffed at about 78 percent, meaning more than 15,000 of the agency's employees will keep working. The Secret Service, also part of Homeland Security, will retain more than 5,700 employees during the shutdown.___INTERIOR DEPARTMENTThe Interior Department said national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible. That position is a change from previous shutdowns, when most parks were closed and became high-profile symbols of dysfunction.Spokeswoman Heather Swift said the American public — especially veterans who come to the nation's capital — should find war memorials and open-air parks available to visitors. Swift said many national parks and wildlife refuges nationwide will also be open with limited access when possible.She said public roads that already are open are likely to remain open, though services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds, full-service restrooms and concessions won't be operating. Backcountry lands and culturally sensitive sites are likely to be restricted or closed, she said.Yet the shutdown had an instant impact on two of the world's top tourist destinations: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.The National Park Service announced that both New York sites would be closed 'due to a lapse in appropriations.' The park service said the closure of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island was effective immediately and until further notice.For ticket refunds, visitors were instructed to contact the Statue Cruises company that runs ferries to the statue and Ellis Island, the historic entry point in New York Harbor for immigrants to the United States that is now a museum.___TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENTMore than half — 34,600 — of the Department of Transportation's 55,100 employees will continue working during a shutdown. The bulk of those staying on the job work for the Federal Aviation Administration, which operates the nation's air traffic control system.Controllers and aviation, pipeline and railroad safety inspectors are among those who would continue to work.But certification of new aircraft will be limited, and processing of airport construction grants, training of new controllers, registration of planes, air traffic control modernization research and development, and issuance of new pilot licenses and medical certificates will stop.At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigations on auto safety defects will be suspended, incoming information on possible defects from manufacturers and consumers won't be reviewed and compliance testing of vehicles and equipment will be delayed.The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, whose operations are mostly paid for out of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, will continue most of their functions. The fund's revenue comes from federal gas and diesel taxes, which will continue to be collected. But work on issuing new regulations will stop throughout the department and its nine agencies.___NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTHDr. Anthony Fauci, the agency's infectious disease chief, said a government shutdown will be disruptive to research and morale at the National Institutes of Health but will not adversely affect patients already in medical studies.'We still take care of them,' he said of current NIH patients. But other types of research would be seriously harmed, Fauci said.A shutdown could mean interrupting research that's been going on for years, Fauci said. The NIH is the government's primary agency responsible for biomedical and public health research across 27 institutes and centers. Its research ranges from cancer studies to the testing and creation of vaccines.'You can't push the pause button on an experiment,' he said.___ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has instructed workers there to come to work next week even with a shutdown. Pruitt said in an email to all EPA employees on Friday that the agency had 'sufficient resources to remain open for a limited amount of time.' He said further instructions would come if the shutdown lasts for more than a week.The instructions from Pruitt are different from how the agency has operated during prior shutdowns and the contingency plan posted on EPA's website. A spokesman for the agency said earlier on Friday that the December 2017 plan was no longer valid.___Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman, Joan Lowy, Michael Biesecker, Lolita Baldor, Andrew Taylor, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Laurie Kellman, Deb Riechmann, Matthew Lee and Marcy Gordon contributed to this report.___Contact Richard Lardner on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rplardner
  • Closed attractions like the Statue of Liberty and suspended services such as the American Forces Network are examples of victims of the government shutdown.Federal services fall into two categories during a shutdown, essential and non-essential. Essential services such as the mail and Social Security checks continue. Non-essential services like processing of new veterans benefits claims are suspended until funding is restored.The air traffic control system stays up and running, as do the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and veterans hospitals. Active-duty troops will stay at their posts during a shutdown. But those serving abroad and expecting the American Forces Network to broadcast radio and television programming will miss the NFL playoffs.Almost half the 2 million civilian federal workers will be barred from doing their jobs.
  • U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump's move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a decision that has touched off uneasiness among Arab nations on his first tour of the region.Pence was meeting Sunday with Jordan's King Abdullah II for discussions that are expected to include the Trump administration's December decision on Israel's capital and plans to shift the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.The vice president said after meeting Saturday with Egypt's President Fatah Abdel el-Sissi that he emphasized the U.S. commitment to the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.Pence said he assured el-Sissi the U.S. was committed to 'preserving the status quo with regard to holy sites in Jerusalem,' and boundaries and other issues would be negotiated between the parties.'The United States of America is deeply committed to restarting the peace process in the Middle East,' Pence said before departing for Jordan. He said he would be 'delivering that message in Jordan, delivering that message in Israel, as well.'Ahead of his arrival, several dozen Jordanians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Amman, protesting against U.S. policies in the Middle East.'America is the head of the snake,' they chanted. Some held up a banner reading: 'The envoy (Pence) of the Zionist American right-wing is not welcome.'The Trump administration's dramatic policy shift on Jerusalem has posed a dilemma for Jordan's monarch.Palestinians make up a large segment of Jordan's population and the ruling Hashemite largely derives its political legitimacy from its historic role as custodian of Jerusalem's main Muslim shrine, the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is Islam's third holiest site.Any perceived threats to Muslim claims to the city, such as Trump's shift on Jerusalem, undermine its vital role there.At the same time, Jordan relies on U.S. military and economic aid — $1.5 billion in 2015 and $1.6 billion last year — at a time of a worsening economic downturn and rising unemployment.Pence was also expected to meet with U.S. troops in the region on Sunday and then depart for Israel, where he's scheduled to hold meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, deliver an address to the Knesset and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.__Associated Press writer Karin Laub contributed to this report.
  • With no signs of any deal to restore funding for the federal government, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be back for a rare Sunday session, with no real signs of an agreement to end the first government shutdown since 2013, as both parties continued to point the finger of blame at each other. The main stumbling block continues to be immigration, and what to do about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant Dreamers in the United States, who were protected under the Obama Administration’s DACA program, which was ended by the Trump Administration in October. Republicans made clear – there is no deadline on DACA until March – as they said those negotiations should simply continue while the government is funded and operating. “I hope Senator Schumer comes to his senses and ends this shutdown madness sooner rather than later,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, taking aim at the Senate Democratic Leader. But for Democrats, they worry that the GOP will never deal on immigration and DACA, as their leaders have decided now is the time to press for action. During Saturday’s House and Senate sessions – where no obvious progress was made – Democrats continued to argue that Republicans were the problem, since the GOP is in charge of the House, Senate and White House. “Americans know Republicans own the Trump Shutdown,” said Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY). “Anyone claiming otherwise should double check who has control in Congress.” Instead of signs of compromise, Saturday was mainly filled with tough rhetoric from both parties. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump’s grade for his first year in office was a “big fat failure F.” With no evidence of any deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a procedural vote for just after 1 am on Monday morning, trying to force action on a plan to extend government funding until February 8, as he again blamed Democrats for the impasse. If Democrats hold together as they did late on Friday night, then that motion would not get the needed 60 votes to end debate, meaning the shutdown would hit government offices on Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “Congress has a lot of work to do” but it is being 'delayed by the Democrat’s filibuster' https://t.co/IU5LKpcVoB — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018 Various federal agencies were still making their plans for Monday; one federal worker that I saw on Saturday evening said his office had been told to come in for four hours on Monday, and then they would likely be sent home if there was no funding plan approved by the Congress.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan called for an Ethics Committee investigation Saturday after the New York Times reported that U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan used taxpayer money to settle a complaint that stemmed from his hostility toward a former aide who rejected his romantic overtures.The story, published online Saturday, cited unnamed people who said the Republican Pennsylvania representative used thousands of dollars from his congressional office fund to settle the sexual harassment complaint the ex-aide filed last summer to the congressional Office of Compliance.In a statement, Ryan's spokeswoman said the allegations must be investigated 'fully and immediately' by the House Ethics Committee and that Meehan would immediately submit himself to the committee's review. Meehan is being removed from his position on the committee, and Ryan told Meehan that he should repay any taxpayer funds that were used to settle the case, Ryan's spokeswoman said.The Times did not identify the accuser and said she did not speak to the newspaper.In a statement, the four-term congressman's office denied that Meehan sexually harassed or mistreated the ex-aide. It also said Meehan, the former U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, had asked congressional lawyers who handled the case to ask the ex-aide's lawyer to dissolve the settlement's confidentiality requirements 'to ensure a full and open airing of all the facts.'Throughout his career he has always treated his colleagues, male and female, with the utmost respect and professionalism,' Meehan's office said.The accuser's lawyer, Alexis Ronickher, called the allegations 'well-grounded' and rejected the idea of doing away with confidentiality. Meehan is trying to victimize her client twice by revealing the woman's identity and litigating the case in the media, Ronickher said.Ronickher called it a 'dirty political maneuver' by Meehan and an effort to save his political career by making it look like he's being transparent.'Mr. Meehan demanded confidentiality to resolve the matter, presumably so that the public would never know that he entered into a settlement of a serious sexual harassment claim,' Ronickher said.Ronickher said the Ethics Committee investigation must include the fact that Meehan, in his Saturday statement responding to the Times article, 'knowingly breached confidentiality in his agreement by discussing the case and the terms of any potential settlement agreement.'Meehan's office did not respond to questions about whether he used taxpayer money to settle the case or whether he would submit to the Ethics Committee investigation. However, his office said Meehan would only act with advice of House lawyers and in line with House Ethics Committee guidance to resolve any allegation.'Every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately,' Meehan's office said.Meehan represents a closely divided district that Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won in the 2016 presidential election.Calls from Democrats for Meehan to resign were immediate, including one from Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who said the U.S. House should investigate 'how this matter was handled from top to bottom.
  • The Latest on the government shutdown (all times local):7:30 p.m.A Senate showdown vote on a Republican plan for ending the federal shutdown is on track to occur by early Monday. Democrats say they have the votes to block it.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed a measure financing the government through Feb. 8.Senate Democrats derailed a House-passed measure early Saturday that would have run through Feb. 16.They say they want to provide enough money to keep agency doors open only a few days. They say the shorter time frame puts more pressure on Republicans to cut deals on immigration and the budget.The shutdown began at midnight Friday. The public won't feel its full effects until the next workweek begins Monday.The vote would occur by 1 a.m. EST Monday but could happen earlier.___7 p.m.Hours after shuttering much of the federal government, feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress spent the day dodging blame for a paralyzing standoff over immigration.The two sides show few signs of progress on negotiations to end it.The finger-pointing has played out in rare weekend proceedings in both the House and Senate, where lawmakers have been eager to show voters they are actively working for a solution — or at least actively making their case why the other party is at fault.Democrats refused to provide the votes needed to reopen the government until they strike a deal with President Donald Trump protecting young immigrants from deportation. They also want more disaster relief and a boost in spending for opioid treatment and other domestic programs.___5:45 p.m.President Donald Trump is 'frustrated' by the government shutdown falling on the first anniversary of his inauguration.That's according to budget director Mick Mulvaney, who tells reporters that the White House believes Democrats provoked the fiscal crisis to distract from Trump's accomplishments in his first year in office.Mulvaney says, 'The Democrats got the shutdown that they wanted on his anniversary.'He adds of Democrats that Trump 'kicked their butts for a year' and charges they were looking for a way to embarrass the administration.Mulvaney says it is up to Democrats to decide when the government will reopen, and that the White House won't negotiate on immigration until Democrats agree to turn the lights back on.__5:40 p.m.Tensions are rising at the Capitol on the first day of the partial government shutdown. Debate in the House screeched to a halt Saturday after Democrats objected to a comment by Texas Republican congressman Pete Sessions, who referred to the 'Schumer shutdown.'Republicans are using the phrase to cast blame on Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, but House rules bar floor remarks impugning another lawmaker. After private discussion, Sessions agreed to withdraw the comment.Debate was soon halted again after Alabama GOP congressman Bradley Byrne displayed a poster-size photo of Schumer with a 2013 quote calling a shutdown 'the politics of idiocy.' Arkansas congressman Steve Womack, the presiding officer, allowed the poster, but Democrats objected and forced a roll call vote. Lawmakers voted, 224-173, to allow the display.___2:55 p.m.Republicans and Democrats appear to be no closer to ending a government shutdown, and the White House is indicating it's waiting for Democrats to drop their demand that a funding bill include protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.Budget director Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short are lobbing verbal attacks at Democrats for blocking a spending bill over the unrelated legislation.Short told reporters Saturday that 'it's like a 2-year-old temper tantrum.'Mulvaney says the administration is trying to mitigate the impact of the funding lapse, noting many national parks and government offices will be open during the duration. But he says the effects will still be significant.Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control the White House and Congress.___2:40 p.m.The White House says President Donald Trump will not attend a fundraiser at his Florida estate because of the ongoing government shutdown in Washington.Budget director Mick Mulvaney says Trump will not appear at the high-dollar fundraiser Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate.Mulvaney also told reporters during a press briefing Saturday that Trump's participation in the World Economic Forum is up in the air. He says the White House is taking Trump's visit, as well as the planned attendance of much of the Cabinet at the Davos, Switzerland, event, 'on a day by day basis.'Trump is scheduled to depart Washington for the Swiss Alps on Wednesday evening. A number of White House staffers and agency advance teams are already on the ground awaiting his arrival.___12:40 p.m.A Florida fundraiser celebrating President Donald Trump's first year in office will go on with or without him.That's according to a Trump campaign official who was not authorized to publicly discuss planning and spoke on condition of anonymity.Trump had hoped to spend the anniversary of his inauguration in Florida attending a high-dollar fundraiser taking place Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate. Instead, the president is reckoning with a federal government shutdown brought on by disagreement with lawmakers over what should be included in a government funding bill.Trump scrapped plans to depart Washington on Friday. It remains unclear whether he still plans to attend.Tickets start at $100,000 per couple and $250,000 to attend a round-table. The proceeds benefit a joint committee between Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee.— By Associated Press writer Jill Colvin___12:35 p.m.House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is rejecting a fallback plan by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a short-term spending plan through Feb. 8.Pelosi says 'there's no point' in approving a short-term bill unless both sides agree on how to move forward.She and other Democrats said Saturday that they want 'parity' on spending increases for defense and domestic programs such as opioid addiction and community health centers.Pelosi says that even without a dispute over immigration, Democrats would not agree to a GOP spending plan unless it pays for domestic programs Democrats consider crucial.Democrats have blamed the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House. Republicans say Democrats are 'holding our government hostage' to win protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.___12:25 p.m.Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says the partial government shutdown is 'utter madness' and he is blaming it all on Senate Democrats.Ryan said Saturday that the Democrats are 'deliberately holding our government hostage' to win protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.He blasted Democrats for a filibuster on a House-passed stopgap funding bill that would keep the government open through Feb. 16 and reauthorize a health care program for 9 million children from low-income families. He accused them of 'opposing a bill they don't even oppose.'Ryan says, 'We do some crazy things in Washington, but this is utter madness.'Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House.___11:10 a.m.The White House says President Donald Trump phoned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss strategies to reopen the government.Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley says Trump called the Republican Senate leader on Saturday morning. Gidley says chief of staff John Kelly is speaking with lawmakers and congressional leadership, while legislative affairs director Marc Short and budget director Mick Mulvaney are on Capitol Hill.The shutdown is marring the anniversary of Trump's inauguration. For a businessman who made his career selling himself as a deal-maker, he is struggling to find consensus with Congress on a funding agreement.The White House says Trump will not negotiate with Democrats over their demands to provide legal protections for roughly 700,000 young immigrants known as 'Dreamers' until the government is reopened.___11 a.m.Junior White House aides are using their out-of-office messages to assign blame to Democrats for the government shutdown.The automatic replies from White House assistant press secretaries Ninio Fetalvo and Natalie Strom say, 'Unfortunately, I am out of the office today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding — including funding for our troops and other national security priorities— hostage to an unrelated immigration debate.'Hundreds of nonessential White House staffers are barred by law from working during the shutdown. The three deputy press secretaries are still working, however, as is press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.President Donald Trump had been set to leave Friday for a fundraiser Saturday at his Florida estate marking the anniversary of his inauguration but delayed the trip over the shutdown. It's unclear if he will attend.___10:25 a.m.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is giving President Donald Trump an F for 'failure in leadership' on the anniversary of his inauguration.Pelosi also slammed congressional Republicans on Saturday as the government shutdown began.In a speech on the House floor, Pelosi said Republicans who control the White House and hold majorities in the House and Senate are 'so incompetent and negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep the government open.'Pelosi urged Republicans to 'get down to business for everyday people in America.'She says Trump has tweeted that the country 'needs a good shutdown.' She says: 'Your wish has come true for your one-year anniversary.'Republicans have blamed Democrats for the shutdown.
  • President Donald Trump's budget chief Mick Mulvaney stormed Washington as a tea party lawmaker elected in 2010, and he hasn't mellowed much as director of the Office of Management of Budget at the White House.In both spots, he's been at the center of government shutdowns.As a congressman in 2013, Mulvaney was among a faction on the hard right that bullied GOP leaders into a shutdown confrontation by insisting on lacing a must-pass spending bill with provisions designed to cripple President Barack Obama's signature health care law.Then, the fast-talking South Carolina Republican downplayed the impact of a government shutdown, noting that critical government services would continue and Social Security benefits would be paid. He said about 75 percent of the government would remain open, and he noted that Congress arranged for the military to continue to get paid.'In many ways, then, this is a government 'slowdown' more than it is a 'shutdown,'' Mulvaney said back in 2013, though he added, 'I know that is not much consolation for folks who are personally affected.'Mulvaney voted against legislation to reopen the government and was unapologetic over his role as a ringleader in 2013, saying the GOP's political beating — and eventual retreat — was the product of bad messaging.Now, as the federal official in charge of managing government operations during the lapse in funding, Mulvaney is taking steps to ameliorate the shutdown, giving agencies more flexibility to remain open by using, for instance, previously appropriated money to keep their doors open. He accused the Obama White House of purposefully closing high-profile federal sites to reap political gain. The Trump administration will do what it can to keep national parks open and accessible, he said.'We are going to manage the shutdown differently. We are not going to weaponize it,' Mulvaney said Friday. 'We're not going to try and hurt people, especially people who happen to work for this federal government.'Mulvaney is quick-witted and possesses a disarming frankness, and he's not afraid of being impolitic, even as he has risen to a Washington power post.For instance, on Friday, just hours before the shutdown began, Mulvaney told conservative radio host Sean Hannity, 'I found out for the first time last night that the person who technically shuts the government down is me, which is kind of cool.'Mulvaney isn't apologizing for the shutdown tactics he employed years ago, saying he opposed that year's stopgap spending measure because it funded agencies that were implementing 'Obamacare.' But now he's faulting Democrats for seeking to use the very kind of leverage now that he failed to exploit back then.'When Republicans tried to add a discussion about Obamacare to the funding process in 2013, we were accused by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer of inserting a non-fiscal — a non-financial — issue into the spending process in order to shut the government down,' Mulvaney said. 'How is that not exactly what is happening today?
  • The Trump administration's pledge to minimize the impact of a government shutdown faces an early test as a number of iconic American landmarks announce they will be closed.The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, symbols of American promise, were shuttered Saturday due to what the National Park Service describes as 'a lapse in appropriations.' That's a bureaucratic term for a lack of money. The New York sites are two of the world's top tourist destinations.In Philadelphia, crowds of tourists can't get into see the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.Congressional Republicans and Democrats appear no closer to settling their differences over immigration policy and striking an agreement to fund the government.
  • If the shutdown lasts just days or even a couple of weeks, the robust stock market that President Donald Trump has boasted about probably will emerge unscathed. A longer impasse, economists say, could rattle consumer and investor confidence, pulling stocks lower and dragging down the economy. Economists and investment advisers interviewed by The Associated Press generally didn't foresee the shutdown that began Saturday lasting long enough to stifle the economy much. With pivotal elections in November, both parties would want to shield voters from any pain. Investors and consumers are feeling optimistic now based on the tax cut signed into law last month, and the economy is strong enough to power through a short shutdown. But Randy Warren, CEO of Warren Financial Service, a Philadelphia-area investment advisory firm, said shutdown that drags on for six weeks or longer — an unimaginable scenario — could kill a bull market and discourage people from spending money. 'These things start to pile up,' he said Saturday. 'When you start to doubt the future, then you start to doubt investing.' And that's among the reasons Warren and others don't see a lengthy stalemate. 'It seems unlikely at this point that it would be a four-week shutdown,' said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at Standard & Poor's. 'It will hopefully be a blip.' The Standard & Poor's 500 index and Nasdaq composite closed at record highs Friday. The Russell 2000 index, composed of smaller, more domestically-focused companies, climbed more than 1 percent and also finished at a record high. 'Unless it meaningfully impacts the U.S. consumer and leads them to spend much less money, leading to some kind of major (economic) slowdown, it's not a big deal,' said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. The economy could take a hit if national parks and monuments are closed or operations curtailed for a long period. Trips could be canceled, cutting vacation dollars that roll into communities near the parks. The Interior Department pledged to keep as many parks and public lands open as possible, but the pattern on Saturday was spotty. Some parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite were open with limited services, but the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia were closed. After the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that it trimmed an annualized 0.3 percent from growth during the final three months of that year. The reduced growth was mostly because federal employees worked fewer hours. Leslie Preston, a senior economist at TD Bank, said the economy is currently 'strong enough to withstand' a similarly sized hit because growth is projected to be nearly 2.5 percent in the January-March quarter. ____ Krisher reported from Detroit. AP Economics Writer Josh Boak in Washington and Markets Writer Marley Jay in New York contributed to this report.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • With no signs of any deal to restore funding for the federal government, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be back for a rare Sunday session, with no real signs of an agreement to end the first government shutdown since 2013, as both parties continued to point the finger of blame at each other. The main stumbling block continues to be immigration, and what to do about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant Dreamers in the United States, who were protected under the Obama Administration’s DACA program, which was ended by the Trump Administration in October. Republicans made clear – there is no deadline on DACA until March – as they said those negotiations should simply continue while the government is funded and operating. “I hope Senator Schumer comes to his senses and ends this shutdown madness sooner rather than later,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, taking aim at the Senate Democratic Leader. But for Democrats, they worry that the GOP will never deal on immigration and DACA, as their leaders have decided now is the time to press for action. During Saturday’s House and Senate sessions – where no obvious progress was made – Democrats continued to argue that Republicans were the problem, since the GOP is in charge of the House, Senate and White House. “Americans know Republicans own the Trump Shutdown,” said Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY). “Anyone claiming otherwise should double check who has control in Congress.” Instead of signs of compromise, Saturday was mainly filled with tough rhetoric from both parties. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump’s grade for his first year in office was a “big fat failure F.” With no evidence of any deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a procedural vote for just after 1 am on Monday morning, trying to force action on a plan to extend government funding until February 8, as he again blamed Democrats for the impasse. If Democrats hold together as they did late on Friday night, then that motion would not get the needed 60 votes to end debate, meaning the shutdown would hit government offices on Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “Congress has a lot of work to do” but it is being 'delayed by the Democrat’s filibuster' https://t.co/IU5LKpcVoB — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018 Various federal agencies were still making their plans for Monday; one federal worker that I saw on Saturday evening said his office had been told to come in for four hours on Monday, and then they would likely be sent home if there was no funding plan approved by the Congress.
  • The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says a man is behind bars after allegedly stabbing his mother and stepfather early Saturday morning in Titusville.    According to deputies, authorities arrived at a house on the 1400 block of North Highway 1 around 4:45 a.m. to answer a report that a mother had been injured by her son.    Deputies spoke to the woman and found out that her husband was seriously injured as well.    Both victims were taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.    The suspect, 28 year old Robert Hamm, was found in the area of Jay Jay Road and Snow Egret Drive.    Hamm was arrested without incident and is being held without bail in the Brevard County Jail.    Hamm faces two counts of attempted first degree murder.
  • Taking steps to 'further protect its customers, employees and service and support animals, Delta Air Lines is having new requirements for those who wish to travel with trained service and support animals.   According to a statement, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, and even spiders. Delta has reportedly seen an 84 percent increase in animal incidents since 2016, and even an attack by a 70 pound dog last year.    Staring March 1st, any customer traveling with a service or support animal must meet these new requirements:    Traveling with a trained service animal:    Customers traveling with a trained service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date) for their animal to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours in advance of travel.    Traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal:    Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date), an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form which requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours in advance of travel.    This desk will verify that the documentation is received and will confirm the travel reservation prior to your arrival at the airport. Any information not completed will be made known to you via email from a representative.    The type of accepted animals, as well as related questions can be found here.
  • A 17 year old is in stable condition after being shot Friday afternoon inside a home.   At 3:32 p.m., Sanford Police responded to a shooting with injuries report at 1314 Olive Avenue. The police went inside the house and found the teenager was shot.    The Sanford Fire Department took the victim to the hospital where police say the teen is in stable condition.    Police also say they have spoken with several people inside the home during the shooting and that witnesses are cooperating with investigators.    Investigators believe the shooting is an isolated incident and is not connected to any recent shootings in the area.    Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Sanford Police Department or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS(8477).
  • Hours after funding lapsed for the federal government at midnight, lawmakers in both parties returned for an unusual Saturday session of the House and Senate, as both parties quickly launched themselves into finger pointing over who is to blame for the first government shutdown since 2013, with few signs that a deal was near on the major spending and immigration issues that brought about the standoff. “Get it together,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi bluntly said to Republicans in a morning speech on the House floor, as she led a chorus from her party in blaming the President for the budgetary impasse. “The Trump travesty continues, as it has for the last twelve months,” said Pelosi’s top lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD). But Republicans were having none of that. “We’re about nine hours into the Schumer shutdown,” said Rep. Greg LaMalfa (R-CA) as the House convened, “which is basically Senate Democrats holding the United States, 320 million people, hostage.” Greetings from the Capitol this Saturday morning, where we have evidence of the shutdown: Capitol tours are suspended. pic.twitter.com/rfPAlLLlIQ — Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) January 20, 2018 “There is no excuse for this,” said Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA). “Democrats shut down the govt to protect illegals this week,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). Behind the scenes, lawmakers in both parties were still hoping to cut a deal that would have the government fully open by Monday – but there was little evidence of a possible breakthrough on the broader budget and immigration issues which led to this stalemate. Negotiations have centered on reaching a two year agreement on spending levels for the budget – as President Trump wants a sizable increase in the military’s budget – and on DACA, where Democrats were still hoping to get an agreement that would protect some 700,000 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” from being deported. As the clock ticked toward midnight on Friday night, there were a flurry of talks on the Senate floor between Senators of both parties – not really about the specifics of the budget or DACA – but mainly about the length of any temporary funding plan for the government, and plans to vote on that hot button immigration topic. “Since there were discussions here in earnest, in a bipartisan way, we ought to give those discussions a chance to bear fruit,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). “We should stay and work,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “Senator McConnell chose to shut the government down,” referring to the GOP leader in the Senate. But the underlying issues remain fraught with political problems, especially on immigration, where many Republicans see no direct link between funding the government and a deal on DACA and illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” “This Schumer Shutdown is absolutely ridiculous,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “It is totally irresponsible for the Democrats to use government funding as a bargaining chip.” At the White House, there was no sign that the President was going to cave on Democratic demands on immigration, as officials accused Democrats of doing all they could to slow political momentum from a big GOP tax cut plan that was signed into law in December. One year into the Trump presidency, Democrats can't shut down the booming Trump economy so they shut down the government instead. This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. Do your job Democrats: fund our military and reopen our government #SchumerShutdown — Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 20, 2018 Democrats said they thought they were close to a deal with the President on Friday over DACA and other immigration issues, but that Mr. Trump backed off, again emphasizing the uncertainty that surrounds talks with the White House on major legislative issues. Even if the Senate were to approve a bill which combined provisions on DACA and the Dreamers, along with other items on border security, most Republicans say that would have little chance in the House, where GOP lawmakers favor a much tougher approach. One obvious difference between this shutdown and the one in 2013, is seen right here in Washington, D.C., where outdoor memorials and the Smithsonian museums were still open. Those were shut down by the Obama Administration last time, in what Republicans said was an effort to punish the GOP for a shutdown battle. FYI for anyone visiting DC this weekend: The @smithsonian museums WILL be open Saturday and Sunday. I was told they are not sure if they'll have to close Monday, though. They were waiting for guidance. — Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 20, 2018