Parts of USA gov't shut down after politicians fail to reach deal

President Donald Trump makes a statement on the possible government shutdown before signing criminal just reform legislation in the Oval Office

But the Democrats, along with some Republicans, said they couldn't support the US$5 billion sought by Trump because they said a wall was an ineffective and inefficient method of securing the border.

On Wednesday, lawmakers approved a stopgap spending bill that would keep federal agencies open until February 8 next year, but the agreement did not include funding for the wall Trump wants to construct along the Mexican border.

The Senate was expected to reject the House measure because Democratic votes are needed and McConnell showed little interest in changing the rules - as Trump proposed - to allow a simple majority for passage.

On Thursday, as all indications were that the White House and President Trump were going to go for that deal, outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan had planned to announce at a press conference on Capitol Hill that the House would pass the Senate-passed continuing resolution-which has zero dollars for Trump's border wall-something they would need Democrat votes to accomplish.

However, Trump, who has to sign off any bill, is insisting that at least US$5 billion be included for his long-promised wall.

The House is set to return from recess at noon on Saturday, meaning the closure may be temporary if a deal can still be reached.

Congressional leaders said they wouldn't call lawmakers back for votes until both chambers and the White House had an agreement on how to end the dispute.

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

Interested in Government Shutdown?

After remaining publicly silent on the shutdown through much of the morning, Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to say that he was "in the White House, working hard".

Manchester United striker Rashford thinks inconsistency is proving costly
United have endured an inconsistent campaign and sit sixth, 16 points behind Liverpool.#. Yet somehow this one does feel different, even for an outsider like me.

Democrats repeatedly reminded Trump, and voters, that he said last week he would be "proud" to shut the government down in order to get funding for a border wall.

Mr Trump's top envoys were straining to broker a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some of their own Republican Party's politicians, with Vice-President Mike Pence, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and senior adviser Jared Kushner dashing back and forth at the Capitol. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and will work unpaid just days before Christmas.

"I was last paid a week ago and hopefully should still be paid on 30 December for this week just gone, but anything after that will definitely be affected by the shutdown". Schumer and Pelosi said that if the shutdown persisted, Democrats would pass legislation to reopen the government when they take over the House in January.

The shutdown was the latest evidence of dysfunction in Washington and does not bode well for next year, when Democrats will have a stronger hand as they take control of the House of Representatives.

"I will be the one to shut it down", he said.

"The biggest problem is, we just don't know what the president will sign", said Flake.

In a shutdown, critical workers - including US border agents, and nonessential employees - would not get paid until the dispute ends. The US Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected because it is an independent agency.

The shutdown comes at the end of a perilous week for the president, one that saw Defence Secretary James Mattis resign in protest after Trump's sudden decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.

Those being given a leave of absence include almost everyone at Nasa and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. The National Park Sevice said that parks would remain open but wouldn't be staffed and most bathrooms would be closed.

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