'Very possible' United States shutdown could extend into new year, says budget director

US government to shut down over spending row

US government to shut down over spending row

Both the House and Senate have adjourned until later in the week.

The partial federal shutdown was expected to drag into Christmas as President Donald Trump and congressional leaders remained stuck in a standoff over his border wall with Mexico.

Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, countered: "If Director Mulvaney says the Trump Shutdown will last into the New Year, believe him, because it's their shutdown".

It looks like Christmas will be over and done with before the federal government will have a chance to get fully back to business. It was an ignominious end to a year that began much the same way, with a three-day government shutdown in January.

A gate leading to public restrooms is locked at the Ellipse visitor centre near the National Christmas Tree that is now closed to the public due to the partial shutdown. "I think it's very possible the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress".

"The Democrats easily would support more border funding, border security". Yet he also tried to reassure the country by insisting that "I want everybody to understand no one is working without getting paid". "This is politics, not policy".

In other tweets, Trump praised Saudi Arabia for pledging money to rebuild Syria ("Thanks to Saudi A!"), denied lashing out at acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker ("This is a made up story, one of many, by the Fake News Media!"), and took another swipe at his newly departed defence secretary James Mattis for failing to worry about the financial cost of maintaining military alliances ("We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world").

How is the shutdown playing out?

The Statue of Liberty remained open for tours, thanks to NY state, and the U.S. Postal Service, an independent agency, was still delivering mail.

According to a report by Democrats on the senate appropriations committee, more than 420,000 federal employees deemed essential would continue to work without pay during a partial shutdown, including about 41,000 law enforcement and corrections officers and almost 150,000 Homeland Security employees.

Those deemed "essential" are spared but employees of the rest (around 40%) are placed on unpaid leave and told not to work.

Trump had already declared Monday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday.

But they did not rule out action if a deal were struck. "The next scheduled session day will be on the 27th of December", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

US government to shut down over spending row
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But after ushering Vice President Mike Pence through the Capitol for another round of negotiations, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who was the only member of the GOP leadership to attend.

In fact, a top White House official warned the shutdown could stretch into January. No Republican leaders or any Democrats, all needed for any deal, attended the meal.

Trump also said on Twitter he would be inviting lawmakers to the White House on Saturday to discuss the situation - saying the talks would be on border security - but did not provide details on who would attend.

His latest - no joke: "I am all alone (poor me) in the White House", as he attacks Democrats for the shutdown he proudly boasted he would not only cause, but take credit for.

Trump savored the prospect of a shutdown over the wall for months.

Mulvaney also acknowledged during his interview that Trump's personality has made it more hard to navigate through the government shutdown.

Unlike shutdowns of the past, Congress and the White House aren't racing to reopen the government.

The president canceled his Christmas vacation to his Florida resort because of the impasse with Congress.

Democrats have said they are open to budget proposals that do not include the wall, which they say would be costly and ineffective.

"We know where we would go next, and this is based on field commanders' input", a Homeland Security official said last week while briefing reporters on the administration's request.

Among those set to be furloughed: 52,000 staffers at the Internal Revenue Service, slowing analysis and collection of hundreds of thousands of tax returns and audits. Transportation Security Administration officers continued to staff airport checkpoints and air traffic controllers were on the job.




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