No end in sight for USA government shutdown

Trump threatens to shut down border as government funding stalemate drags

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has vowed to pass legislation as soon as she takes the gavel, which is expected when the new Congress convenes, to reopen the 15 shuttered departments and dozens of agencies now hit by the partial shutdown.

The shutdown is forcing hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors to stay home or work without pay.

The US president has been struggling with US Senate Democrats to pass a budget bill containing $5 billion in funding for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico for the last month.

The threat yet again upped the ante in a political row that has led to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government and seems set to dominate the start to the third year of Trump's presidency. "Now he's canceled his plans for New Year's", Mulvaney said.

Attempting to ratchet up the pressure on Democrats Saturday, Trump apportioned blame for the recent deaths of two migrant children while in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol. But, with political opposition and public support possibly waning, the path ahead to making it a reality looks bumpier than ever.

The president, who had already scrapped a Christmas visit to his Florida golf resort has also "cancelled his plans for New Year's", his incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said on Fox News.

"Could the White House have handled this better?"

"It's clear Pelosi is more interested in preserving her speakership than having an open government and a secure border", the White House official said.

YPG battle looms after U.S. pullout announcement
Cavusoglu warned it would not benefit France if it was staying in Syria to protect the YPG, the main Kurdish militia in Syria. Erdogan added he expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for face-to-face talks about the issue.

As Breitbart News reported on Friday, reports revealed that Pelosi was spending the shutdown at a luxurious resort in Hawaii.

When she previously was House speaker, she would routinely demand exclusive jet travel from Washington to California for breaks.

But that won't accomplish anything unless Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate go along with it.

"I think it's obvious that until the president decides he can sign something - or something is presented to him - that we are where we are", said Sen. Schumer told Pence last weekend that Democrats won't consider any offer without a public endorsement by Trump because the president has changed his position so often, Goodman said. Democrats refuse to approve funding and the president, who has made hardline immigration policies a centrepiece of his presidency, has retaliated by refusing to sign off on a wider spending bill, leaving some 800,000 federal employees without pay.

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, responded to the president's tweets via a prepared statement and did not address the threat to cut off aid to Central American countries. "We do not want to be rash", he said. He also threatened to cut off USA aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, among countries he deems have not done enough to combat illegal immigration.

"We are not giving up on that - it's why the government is closed, ' Mulvaney said".

The president's comments are in line with his administration's prior statements denying any culpability for children who die in US custody.

Trump visited San Diego in March to review border wall prototypes commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, but he has not visited a Border Patrol station or US port of entry.

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