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US government shuts down as partisan blame game heats up

J. Scott Applewhite | AP
J. Scott Applewhite | AP
With no apparent indications of a breakthrough in the Senate to avoid a government shutdown, the Capitol is illuminated in Washington, Friday evening, Jan. 19, 2018.
By Zeke Miller, Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram, The Associated Press
Updated:

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.

[How we got to the brink of a federal shutdown and what it means for Maine]

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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