White House: Trump Would Accept Less Money For Border Wall

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi

U.S. President Donald Trump's budget director and chief of staff on Sunday said the partial U.S. government shutdown could continue to January 3, when the new Congress convenes and Democrats take over the House of Representatives.

The impasse comes amid tension in Washington following Mr Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, which prompted the resignation of defence secretary Jim Mattis.

The Senate adjourned without a deal, meaning the shutdown will continue until at least Thursday, after the Christmas holiday.

The remaining 75% of the federal government is fully funded until September 2019 - so the defence, veterans affairs, labour and education departments are not affected.

A budget deal to end the shutdown - which forced several key United States agencies to cease operations at 12:01 am (0501 GMT) yesterday -appears a distant prospect as Congress adjourned for the weekend ahead of Christmas.

Mulvaney appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and ABC's "This Week".

America woke to day two of its third government shutdown in a year with hundreds of thousands of federal employees no closer to being paid over Christmas, national parks closed and Donald Trump obdurately refusing to accept the blame for an event he previously declared he would be "proud" to cause.

Democrats hold a trump card of their own - they will take control of the House in January.

"The only way to stop drugs, gangs, human trafficking, criminal elements and much else from coming into our Country is with a Wall or Barrier", he said Sunday on Twitter.

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A man laughs at another man in a Donald Trump costume at the Fans Village in Alexandra Palace on December 16 in London, England. Trump has been a favorite subject of the comedy show and his presidency has proved ripe for skits in the program.

"It really is in the president's hands to decide". The party has offered to keep spending at existing levels, $1.3bn, for border fencing and other security measures. "If we are going to move this game forward, we are going to have to do so by focusing on what is in the best interest of the average person in this country and that is to have secure borders".

With congressional negotiations at a standstill, and 420,000 federal employees continuing to work despite a possible delay in their paychecks, the president posited that his proposed wall might be built with the windfall he said would result from shuttering the government.

With most lawmakers home for the holidays, and few evident signs of flexibility on either side, it was hard to discern the outlines of any resolution.

Mulvaney would only say the offer was between Trump's $5.7 billion request and the $1.3 billion Democrats have offered.

Democratic leaders accused an isolated President Donald Trump on Monday (Dec 24) of sowing Christmas "chaos" after the stock market plummeted and the USA government shutdown hit a third day.

Even some Republicans expressed consternation over what they dubbed an avoidable crisis.

Trump earlier in the week scuttled an agreement that would have kept the government open through February 8 after coming under heavy criticism from conservative talk show hosts and some allies in the House because the measure didn't include the funding he wanted for the wall.

Shelby said that at lunch Trump did seem like he wanted to reach a deal.

"This is something that is unnecessary". Progress toward funding the wall has been slow and Trump sees the final days of the GOP's complete control of Congress as his last chance to force the issue. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the retiring Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, accused the president over the weekend of manufacturing the "juvenile" showdown so he "can look like he's fighting" to please his core supporters.

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