Government Shutdown Likely to Stretch Into Next Week

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At the heart of the stalemate is Trump's demand for $5 billion in funding for his proposed wall at the U.S. -Mexico border. The House, meanwhile, is out of session until further notice, and the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Wednesday that it will give lawmakers 24 hours' notice of any expected votes in the chamber. In his tweet, he added: "Federal employees don't go to work wearing red or blue jerseys". Trump said he is planning on "going to the wall" on the Southwest Border of the United States early next year for a "groundbreaking".

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, of Kansas, spoke to reporters after he presided over the three-minute session held by the Senate, saying he remains hopeful the shutdown will be solved before Democrats take control of the House next week - although he didn't indicate any negotiations were ongoing.

"While Trump and the GOP leadership are putting on a courageous face, the Democrats plan simply to pass a" continuing resolution" bill to re-open the government once they take control of the House, and pass it along to the Senate, daring Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - long opposed to shutdowns - to refuse.

The impasse over government funding began last week, when the Senate approved a bipartisan deal keeping government open into February. Congressional Democrats have rejected that figure and made counter-offers for border security of as much as $1.6 billion.


On Saturday, when their existing funding expired, those agencies shut down "nonessential" operations. Around 800,000 federal employees have been caught up in the dispute, with 420,000 now working without pay.

The shutdown has been playing out against the backdrop of turmoil in the stock market, which is having a roller-coaster week. The shutdown complicates things for essential employees who planned trips for the holidays: According to the Office of Personnel Management rules, employees deemed essential or otherwise exempted from their respective agency furloughs can't take any vacation or sick days.

Those being furloughed include 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service and almost everyone at NASA. Some national parks are closed, but others remain open with limited services provided by the federal government or states. The Coast Guard is the only arm of the military affected by the shutdown because it is funded through the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump has claimed federal workers are behind him in the shutdown fight, saying many told him, "stay out until you get the funding for the wall.'" He didn't say who told him that. While Congress will likely approve back pay for most workers, they can't happen until the shutdown ends.


One union representing federal workers slammed Trump's claim.

Trump indicated that he will not budge from his position on the border wall.

"Most view this as an act of ineptitude", he said.


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