Congress, White House talking, but no quick end to shutdown

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

Both the House and Senate opened but there were no signs of progress in negotiations, which had only been happening at the staff level.

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.

"Until President Trump can publicly commit to a bipartisan resolution, there will be no agreement before January when the new House Democratic Majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government", the California lawmaker said in a letter to fellow Democrats. Numerous biggest government functions, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs, have already been fully funded through September.

Irate with Powell for a series of modest interest rate increases that Trump claims have hampered the USA economy, the president expressed his disdain for the Fed chairman once more.

The October 2013 shutdown, which lasted 16 days, happened after the House and Senate deadlocked over the Affordable Care Act.

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

Trump had made clear last week that he would not blame Democrats for any closure.

The South Carolina senator said he was glad Trump "picked this fight", explaining that if Republicans don't fight for more money for border security now, Democrats will never let them have it.

The president scheduled a border security meeting Monday afternoon at the White House with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other department officials, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

The Santa Tracker, celebrating its 63rd year, won't be affected by the government shutdown, which started early Saturday after nine governmental departments ran out of funding, and Congress and the White House failed to strike a deal to keep things running.

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Members of Congress travelled home for Christmas over the weekend but Trump has stayed on in Washington as a partial government shutdown grinds on, brought on by an impasse between Democrats and Republicans over Trump's proposed border wall.

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

The two sides don't appear close to a deal, even though their offers differ by tiny fraction of the overall federal budget.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently threatened a prolonged shutdown during a speech on the Senate floor.

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

Schumer's office says the parties remain "very far apart".

Although Democrats have been known to be opposed to strict border security, Schumer claimed that was not the truth.

As United States president Donald Trump refuses to back down on the Mexico border wall, thousands of federal workers are set to have a glum Christmas this year due to non-payment of wages.

Any ultimate deal will likely depend on what defines "the wall".

Last week, the central bank hiked rates, infuriating Trump who has ignored traditional respect for the Fed's independence, calling it "crazy", "out of control" and a greater economic threat than China.

Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown" - though he wrote that administration officials are "hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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