US govt shutdown set to last through Xmas | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 24, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 24, 2018

US govt shutdown set to last through Xmas

Chaos to continue as Senate adjourns with no deal in sight

A partial US government shutdown that entered its second day yesterday was set to stretch through Christmas, after Congress adjourned for the weekend with no deal in sight to end an impasse over funding for President Donald Trump's wall on the US-Mexico border.

Due to the shutdown -- in which several key US agencies ceased operations at 12:01 am (0501 GMT) Saturday -- Trump said he would remain in Washington over Christmas instead of going to Florida.

"I am in the White House, working hard," the Republican president tweeted. "We are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more) but it could be a long stay."

Trump has dug in on his demand for $5 billion for construction of the border wall, a signature campaign promise and part of his effort to reduce illegal immigration. Democrats are staunchly opposed, and the absence of a deal meant federal funds for dozens of agencies lapsed at midnight Friday.

The House of Representatives and the Senate held sessions on Saturday, but both chambers adjourned without agreement, and no votes were expected until Thursday.

Visitors to the capital's park-like National Mall, home to attractions including war memorials and the towering Washington Monument, criticised the shutdown which added to an air of chaos in a capital still reeling from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's resignation last week over Trump policies.

The uncertainty also helped pushed Wall Street into another rout on Friday, ending its worst week in a decade.

"Oh I think it's ridiculous. It's unnecessary," Philip Gibbs, a retired business professor from South Virginia, said of the shutdown.

Jeffrey Grignon, a Wisconsin healthcare worker, said the politicians "need to stop acting like children" and do the work they were elected to do.

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