Over the weekend, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky said the chamber wouldn't reconvene until December 27, and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that it's possible the shutdown could go on until after the New Year.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is met by reporters as he arrives at the Capitol on the first morning of a partial government shutdown, in Washington, Dec. 22, 2018.
Another Democrat, Senator Chris Coons, said on CBS that now "there is frankly no path towards his getting $5 billion in American taxpayer money to meet his campaign promise of a ´big, attractive wall´ with Mexico".
The two Congressional Democratic leaders are blaming President Donald Trump for "plunging the country into chaos" on Christmas Eve - when, according to the carol, all is supposed to be "calm and bright".
"We're on duty 24-7, 365 days a year", said Capt. Cameron Hillier, spokesman for NORAD and U.S. North Command.
The House of Representatives and the Senate held sessions on Saturday, but both chambers adjourned without agreement, and no votes were expected until Thursday.
In a tweet Monday, Trump compared the Fed to a blundering golfer "who can't score because he has no touch - he can't putt!". But, after hard-right commentators lambasted him for abandoning his long-promised wall, Trump reversed course and dug in.
Vice President Mike Pence proposed spending $2.5 billion on border security, including the wall, in a stopgap spending bill during meetings on Friday night and Saturday afternoon with Schumer, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
Democrats are staunchly opposed, and in the absence of a deal, federal funds for dozens of agencies lapsed.
Merkley tells ABC's "This Week" that "30-foot concrete wall, 30-foot steel spikes, that's not the smart way". A deal with Democrats could revolve around allowing funds to be used for that kind of structure.
With ultra-conservative lawmakers and media commentators demanding that the president stick to his campaign promises, Trump stood his ground on the wall.
A shutdown results from an impasse in the United States government when Republicans and Democrats can't agree on what should be included in the latest spending bill. Absent were GOP leaders or Democrats who would be needed for a deal.
Schumer and Shelby have been having side discussions, but they don't appear to have yielded much progress given the differences between Schumer and the White House, the source added.
Last week, the central bank hiked rates, infuriating Trump, who has ignored a traditional respect for the Fed's independence, calling it "crazy", "out of control" and a greater economic threat than China.
The nine departments shut as of Saturday represent about a quarter of the $1.24 trillion in government discretionary spending for fiscal year 2019. Numerous biggest government functions, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs, have already been fully funded through September. The Department of Transportation would keep about two-thirds of its more than 50,000 employees on the job.
Most NASA employees will be sent home, as will Commerce Department workers and many at the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Agriculture and State.
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