Senate scrambles to take up border wall funding, as shutdown clock ticks

Government Shuts Down Over Border Wall Impasse

Government Shuts Down Over Border Wall Impasse

That meeting ended after 30 minutes with no resolution. That jump-started negotiations between Congress and the White House.

Trump added that he needed Democrats votes to secure funding for the border wall.

By closing the Senate for five days, lawmakers will go home for the holidays as hundreds of thousands of federal workers are left in limbo about their status.

Government is now in a partial shutdown.

Trump tried to blame Democrats.

Both the House and Senate opened but there were no signs of progress in negotiations, which had only been happening at the staff level.

But the fact that the $5 billion border wall is viewed as a measure that would be impossible to pass in the Senate indicates that votes aren't there on the Hill to meet the President's demand.

Few lawmakers were in the Capitol and no votes were scheduled in either chamber. Chris Krueger of Cowen Research Group said Friday that if the government does partially shut down, "it is very hard to see how it would reopen before at least January 3" given the absence of lawmakers during the holiday.

As recently as Tuesday, it looked as though President Trump and Congressional Republicans had given up on holding out for $5 billion to finance construction of a border wall as part of the current spending package.

It was unclear exactly how long the shutdown would last: hours, days, or even longer - into early January, when Democrats will retake the House majority. "There's nothing we can do about that because we need the Democrats to give us their votes", he said in a video posted to his Twitter account two hours before the midnight deadline.

Both the House and Senate packages would extend government funding through February 8, all but guaranteeing another standoff once Democrats take control of the House in the New Year. About 8 in 10 employees of the National Park Service will stay home and many parks were expected to close. The Washington Monument is closed for repairs.

Government Shuts Down Over Border Wall Impasse

Those being furloughed include almost everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service.

And according to the rules, any planned leave by an essential employee is canceled and employees are expected to report to work.

Barring any very unexpected change, the third government shutdown of the year will happen.

Trump and Democrats blamed each other for the shutdown.

McConnell argued for the wall's funding, saying, "The need for greater security on our southern border is not some partisan invention. We couldn't just let there be no wall", an official said on a briefing call with reporters.

Schumer said the "Trump shutdown" could end immediately if Trump simply dropped his demand for money that was the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

A number of departments and agencies are funded through September 2019, thanks to previously passed appropriations bills.

"The biggest problem is, we just don't know what the president will sign", said Sen. No such grand deal is on the table now.

Senior Democrats have accused the president of provoking the situation with a "temper tantrum".

Schumer said McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan must also support any deal publicly.

Vice President Mike Pence has cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate to advance legislation to prevent a partial government shutdown and provide funding for President Donald Trump's border wall.

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