White House Voicemail: Government Closed Because Democrats Holding Military Funding ‘Hostage’ over ‘Immigration Debate’

Donald Trump
AP Photo/Evan Vucci,

The White House changed its voicemail message to blame congressional Democrats for failing to pass a budget over partisan squabbles on immigration.

“Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because Congressional Democrats are holding government funding—including funding for our troops and other national security priorities—hostage to an unrelated immigration debate,” the recording says.

The message, which was recorded for the White House’s public comment line, said calls could not be answered because of the “obstruction” from Democrats.

“Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down,” the recording continued.

The message ended by informing callers that they can leave comments for President Trump on the White House website contact page until the government reopens.

During a government shutdown, all non-essential services, including the National Park Service and museums, cease to operate.

“Essential” operations, such as the military, the post office, and federally-run medical centers remain open—although many employees will not receive immediate payment while the government is closed.

The government shut down at 12:01 a.m. Saturday after Senate Democrats refused to fund the government if a deal on DACA amnesty was not negotiated. The White House responded that there would be no amnesty negotiations in the government funding package.

The Senate is in session as of Sunday as lawmakers work to reopen the government.

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