No end in sight for partial US government shutdown

Not so this time.

Democrats officially take over the House on January 3 for the 116th Congress, and some Republicans see this as their last real shot at getting funding approved for the wall.

He predicted the shutdown could go into January, when Democrats assume control of the House based on their midterm election gains.

"It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement on Monday.

About three-quarters of the government, including the military and the Department of Health and Human Services, is fully funded until the end of September 2019, leaving 25 percent unfunded as of Saturday.

Trump hosted a lunch with conservative lawmakers, including House Freedom Caucus chiefs Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of OH, and several senators, among them Lindsey Graham of SC.

"This is what Washington looks like when you have a President who refuses to sort of go along to get along", said Mulvaney on Sunday morning.

The shutdown was expected to last through Thursday after the House and Senate, which held rare weekend sessions, adjourned until later in the week.

US President Donald Trump has touched upon the issue of the border wall, which led to the closure of one-quarter of the US federal government.

Graham reminded Trump that while shoring up the border wall is important, "a Southern wall isn't going to protect you against ISIS". Democrats say a wall is wasteful and ineffective.

But Democrats aren't the only ones resisting Trump on the wall.

"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House", tweeted Trump, who had to delay his annual Christmas holiday in Florida because of the crisis in Washington.

The Santa Tracker, celebrating its 63rd year, won't be affected by the government shutdown, which started early Saturday after nine governmental departments ran out of funding, and Congress and the White House failed to strike a deal to keep things running.

Mulvaney withheld specifics but placed the offer at between Trump's $5.7 billion request and $1.3 billion Democrats are offering.

The next possibility for votes in the House and Senate is on December 27, as Democrats say they're far apart in negotiations with the Trump administration.

Schumer made a counteroffer on border security, according to a Democratic source familiar with the negotiations - before Saturday when he met with Vice President Mike Pence - to Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby and that was rejected by the White House.

The president has dug in on his demand for $5 billion for the border wall, a signature campaign promise that he repeatedly said Mexico would pay for.

Any ultimate deal will likely depend on what defines "the wall".

The White House has opened the door for a compromise by talking about "steel slats" rather than the concrete wall Trump touted in the past. In retaliation, Trump refused last week to sign a wider spending bill, temporarily stripping funding from swaths of the government.

"In the Democrats' mind, that is not a wall".

"We moved off of the five and we hope they move up from their 1.3", Mulvaney said.

Thus, the fence being built is essentially the same as the hundreds of miles that dozens of Democrats voted for in 2006.

Agents call it bollard fencing because it uses poles 18 feet or taller lined side by side with small gaps in between.

Some Democrats still aren't on board.


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