U.S. govt shutdown to extend into next week after Senate adjourns

President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to close the USA southern border if Congress does not agree to provide US$5 billion in taxpayer funds for his border wall, widening a dispute that has already closed portions of the federal government.

White House aides ignored several requests for comment about any talks Thursday ahead of what turned out to be short House and Senate sessions.

The standoff over Mr. Trump's demand for roughly $5 billion for border security including a wall or barrier led to the partial government shutdown, now in its seventh day.

That statement came in response to a White House statement that said Trump and his aides "stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal" while "the Democrats made a decision to go home". On Thursday, Trump sent out a flurry of tweets accusing Democrats of obstruction over the dispute, suggesting their opposition was purely about "not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win". Media reports said Vice President Mike Pence had proposed $2.1 billion in funding. His opponents, including some in his Republican party, accuse the president of exaggerating the danger from illegal immigration for his own political gain.

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with", the president tweeted Friday, one week after the start of the partial shutdown.

Republicans now control both houses of Congress and the White House, but in one week, Democrats will take over in the House while Republicans will add two seats to their current Senate advantage. "It's a very sad day when we can't get Democrats to even show up for work and sit down with us and have these conversations and try to help make real solutions and get something done".

Mulvaney said that while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer seemed interested in making a deal, "it's Nancy Pelosi preventing that from happening".

Any formula to fully fund the USA government will have to be approved by both houses of Congress and signed by Trump. A third option was a year-long bipartisan bill that would cover spending for all but the Department of Homeland Security, which handles border security and for which a separate agreement is needed.

The vote for House speaker is on January 3, 2019, and Pelosi will need to win a majority of the full House if all members vote to reclaim the speakership. "I think that's exactly what has to happen", Roberts said.

Almost a week into a U.S.

  • Tracy Klein