Partial government shutdown: What to expect as it continues over Christmas holiday

Arturo Kim
December 25, 2018

Trump is demanding $5 billion for a wall along the U.S. - Mexican border.

The government partially shut down at midnight Friday after Congress and the White House failed to agree on a spending package, the third shutdown this year.

The partial government shutdown that began Saturday at midnight may well continue past the end of the month and into the new Congress due to be sworn in January 3, incoming acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney indicated on Fox News Sunday.

The outcome of the shutdown will set the stage for the next two years of divided government in Washington, with Republicans in control of the White House and Senate and Democrats running the House.

Democrats, led by California representative Nancy Pelosi, will take over the House on January 3.

On the second day of the partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump is again turning to Twitter to try to make his case for a border wall with Mexico - the sticking point in the budget impasse with Congress.

"This is what Washington looks like when you have a president who refuses to go along to get along", Mulvaney told Fox. He says it's an issue of border security.

Trump, who cancelled plans to go to his Florida resort on Friday for Christmas because of the shutdown, was scheduled to discuss border security with United States homeland security officials on Monday afternoon.

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

Visitors to the capital's park-like National Mall, home to attractions including war memorials and the towering Washington Monument, criticised the shutdown which added to an air of chaos in a capital still reeling from Defence Secretary Jim Mattis' resignation last week over Trump policies. "If we are going to move this game forward, we are going to have to do so by focusing on what is in the best interest of the average person in this country and that is to have secure borders". And if Democrats continue to hold out, Graham predicted bad things will come for Democrats in 2020.

"The Democrats easily would support more border funding, border security".

Mulvaney, who also runs the White House budget office, said he's awaiting a response from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY after the administration on Saturday presented Schumer with a counteroffer in the long-running dispute over funding the wall.

Those working without pay - three days before Christmas - would include about 53,000 Transportation Security Administration workers, 54,000 customs and border protection agents and officers and 42,000 coast guard employees. It's a spectacle. And, candidly, it's juvenile. 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.

Trump's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had spent much of the weekend in damage control mode following reports that Trump had privately asked cabinet members whether he has the authority to fire Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

Earlier this week, he said: "This is our only chance that we'll ever have, in my opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security".

A Democratic aide granted anonymity to discuss the private talks confirmed the White House offered $2.5 billion, an initial $2.1 billion plus $400 million Democrats called a "slush fund" for the president's other immigration priorities.

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