As the US government shuts down, Sky News' US Correspondent Cordelia Lynch explains the reasons for the deadlock and how it could affect America.

:: What is happening?

The US government has shut down due to a lack of funding.The Republican-controlled Senate had until midnight (5am UK time) to pass a spending bill, but they needed the Democrats to support it.

Republicans only have 51 seats in the 100-member chamber. They needed 60 votes to pass the package. Both sides are blaming each other for the stalemate.

:: Why can they not agree?

Democrats are demanding help for "Dreamers", more than 700,000 immigrants who entered the US illegally as children.

Last year Mr Trump ordered the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which shielded Dreamers from deportation, to end in March.

Republicans have tried to persuade Democrats to back their bill by offering a six-year extension to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which benefits lower-income families.

:: Which services will be affected?

Hundreds of thousands of US government defence workers, park rangers and business regulators will be left temporarily out of work.

Vital services will still be provided by law enforcement, immigration officers, the central bank, veterans' hospitals and the military.

But a large number of civilians in both departments, including about three quarters of the roughly 740,000 civilians who work for the Pentagon, will stay home.

According to the current plan, national parks and museums will remain open.

:: What does President Trump say?

Image:Donald Trump caused confusion with a tweet on the shutdown threat

The president caused confusion on Thursday morning when he tweeted: "CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!".

His tweet appeared to contradict his own party's strategy. A White House spokesperson then issued a clarification stating that Mr Trump did actually support the House measure.

At the Pentagon, the President told reporters the government "could very well" shut down. He warned that the consequences of a shutdown would be "devastating".

:: Has it happened before?

Yes. During the two-week shutdown in October 2013, around 800,000 workers were granted leave.

This time, the American Federation of Government Employees estimates about 850,000 workers, out of a total 3.5 million, could be told to stay home without pay until Congress reaches an agreement.

:: How could it be resolved?

The Democrats could capitulate, but that currently seems unlikely.

More from Donald Trump

Republicans could shame them into a deal by focusing on the offer to extend the children's health programme.

Alternatively, the Republicans could shift their position on DACA or at least make some more concessions.

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