U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after speaking to March for Life participants and pro-life leaders at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Jan. 19, 2018. The White House confirmed Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, as the U.S. Senate is yet to reach a spending bill that would prevent the government from shutting down. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The White House confirmed Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, as the U.S. Senate is yet to reach a spending bill that would prevent the government from shutting down.
Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump were scheduled to travel to Florida later Friday evening to enjoy the warm weather there, as they frequently did during winter seasons.
The decision was made shortly after the White House press office announced that Trump has invited Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to the White House in an effort to strike a last minute deal to avoid the shutdown. Schumer has reportedly headed to the White House, it is unclear if the decision to cancel the Florida trip was made as a result of the talk.
The U.S. government is about 10 hours from shutting down if Senate Republicans and Democrats fail to pass a legislation appropriating funding for government agencies and operations. The House of Representatives have passed its version of a spending bill late Thursday largely on party lines, foretelling a daunting task for the Republicans in the Senate, who need to win at least nine supporting votes from across the aisle to push the bill through.
Immigration reform remains the most thorny issue in the debate, as Democrats call on the Trump administration and the Republican Party to drop their bid to rescind current immigration policies, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Both parties blamed each other for the potential shutdown. If a deal cannot be reached in time, it would be the first government shutdown during Trump's tenure, which hits its one year mark Saturday.
White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said earlier that he is forecasting a 50-60 percent chance of a government shutdown.
The Pentagon said earlier in the day that a guidance has been issued for a possible shutdown.
"The department must, as well, continue many other operations necessary for the safety of human life or the protection of property, these activities will be 'excepted' from the effects of a lapse in appropriations: All other activities would need to be shut down in an orderly and deliberate fashion, including -- with few exceptions -- the cessation of temporary duty travel," the guidance said.
U.S. government shuts down when the legislative branch and executive branch fails to pass legislation to appropriate funding for government agencies.