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John Katko

U.S. Rep. John Katko, center, and state Assemblyman Gary Finch, right, greet employees during shift change Oct. 26 at Auburn Correctional Facility.

With the third government shutdown of the year, U.S. Rep. John Katko expressed disappointment Saturday that Congress didn't avoid this scenario. 

The partial shutdown began at midnight Saturday. Nine of 15 federal agencies are affected by the shutdown, which will likely last until after Christmas. 

Katko, R-Camillus, blamed Democrats and Republicans for not working together to prevent a shutdown from occurring again. 

"Because of Congress' failure to act, critical funding for programs like (the Violence Against Women Act) has lapsed," Katko said. "While we can have disagreements as policymakers, there are no winners when Congress fails to keep the government open. We must come together to find a solution. I remain committed to working across party lines to get this done." 

The main issue, though, is President Donald Trump's demand that any measure to fund the government includes $5.7 billion to construct a wall along the southern border. Despite Trump's earlier comments that he would take responsibility for a shutdown if the bill didn't include the wall funding he wants, he has since blamed Democrats for the stalemate. 

Days before the shutdown, it appeared that there was an agreement on a short-term funding bill that would've kept the government open through Feb. 8. The Republican-led U.S. Senate passed the bill, even though it didn't include the $5.7 billion for wall funding Trump demanded. 

Trump signaled he wouldn't sign the bill if it reached his desk. 

Instead of considering the Senate-approved continuing resolution, the House approved a separate measure that included $5.7 billion for the wall. Nearly all House Republicans supported the bill, which passed by a 217 to 185 vote. 

Katko was among those who voted for the spending bill. 

While the funding bill cleared the House, it wouldn't pass in the Senate. Republicans hold a slim majority and would need some Democrats to support it.

With no agreement in place, the Senate adjourned until Thursday, Dec. 27. 

The shutdown will affect hundreds of thousands of federal employees. Reports indicate that more than 420,000 federal government employees will work without pay, while over 380,000 workers will be furloughed. 

Several agencies will be impacted. National parks, for example, will remain open with no or minimal staffing. 

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