Mulvaney: 'Very possible' shutdown goes into 2019

Shutdown enters third day with no urgency to reopen government
Donald Trump warns of 'long stay' amid partial government shutdown over Mexico wall

25 December, 2018

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said a counteroffer was presented over the weekend to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

President Donald Trump's incoming acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the partial government shutdown could continue into next year.

How long is the shutdown expected to last? It was an ignominious end to a year that began much the same way, with a three-day government shutdown in January.

The current Congress reassembles on Thursday after the Christmas holiday.

One focus of discussion was the $1.6 billion in border security funding that was a part of pending Senate legislation, number two Senate Republican John Cornyn told AFP.

'Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence. "What would you think if you didn't get paid?" he said. "This is politics, not policy". American allies "take advantage of their friendship with the United States, both in military Protection and trade", he complained in a second tweet. It is even possible that it could still be underway when the new Congress starts in early January.

New York's governor provided funding to the Statue of Liberty monument and Ellis Island so those key attractions could remain open.

The shutdown meant that more than 400,000 federal employees reported to their jobs on Monday without getting paid, while almost 400,000 others "will be locked out of work with no pay", the American Federation of Government Employees union said.

"It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos", the leaders said.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently threatened a prolonged shutdown during a speech on the Senate floor. But they didn't rule out action if a deal were struck.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said he hoped an agreement could be reached "sooner rather than later". Richard Shelby of Alabama, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who was the only member of the GOP leadership to attend.

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Some other Washington tourist sites including the White House Visitor Centre, National Christmas Tree, and National Archives - home to the US Constitution and other historic documents - were closed.

Trump had savored the prospect of a shutdown over the wall. This past week he said he would be "proud" to close down the government.

At that time, he also announced that he was not going to wait for his pledge to make Mexico fund the wall.

Many lawmakers returned to their home states as they awaited word of the talks, having been assured that they will get 24 hours notice before any vote occurs to reopen the government. That led to negotiations with the White House.

President Donald Trump is not going to be in Mar-a-Lago this Christmas and he really wants everyone to know it.

Democrats said they were open to proposals that don't include a wall, which Schumer said is costly and ineffective.

A Democratic aide told the Associated Press that the offer from the White House on Saturday was $2.5 billion - an initial $2.1 billion plus $400 million Democrats called a "slush fund" for the president's other immigration priorities.

Those being furloughed included almost everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. More than 380,000 others - including about 80 percent of National Park Service employees - will be furloughed.

Some agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, were already funded and will operate as usual.

Also still functioning will be the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard.

But while trying to pin the blame on Democrats, Mulvaney, speaking on "Fox News Sunday", acknowledged that Trump's insistence on the wall played a role. A drawdown of troops in Afghanistan also appeared to be in the works.

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