US Gov't now in partial shutdown

No signs of Trump backing down as shutdown looms

With Friday night deadline, funding fight shifts to Senate

"Now it's up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown tonight", said the president.

Campaigning for office two years ago, he had declared the wall would go up "so fast it will make your head spin".

"This is our only chance that we'll ever have, in our opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security", Mr Trump said on Friday.

But the scary part for the affected government employees is that President Trump is holding out the threat of the shutdown lasting a long time unless he has his way, which seems unlikely considering Democrats will take over the House of Representatives in January following their victory in the mid-term polls.

"We've pushed the pause button until the president, from whom we'll need a signature, and Senate Democrats, from whom we'll need votes, reach an agreement", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in his remarks on the floor Saturday.

The US president said border security remained at the centre of discussions after he demanded $5bn (£4bn) to fund the construction of a wall along the US border with Mexico.

Only after a marathon five-hour delay did Mr Pence cast a tie-breaking vote that loosened the logjam, kickstarting negotiations that senators hoped could produce a resolution.

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After failing to strike a budget deal on Friday, congressional leaders and the White House pledged to keep talking through the weekend in search of a deal to end the shutdown ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The problem, Schumer and Pelosi contended, was Trump's unrealistic and unreasonable plans for a wall. Trump has demanded $5 billion in federal funds to help build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

There was little early progress on Saturday, with Mr Trump warning there could be "a long stay" in the talks.

Before the House and Senate adjourned on Friday, negotiators were discussing $1.6 billion for a range of border security measures - not specifically for a wall - and retaining financial assistance for areas hit by natural disasters that was added by the House, a Republican Senate aide said. House politicians were told to remain in town on call.

The GOP-led House voted largely along party lines, 217-185, to attach the border wall money to the Senate's bill.

Senators expect to return at noon on Saturday as talks continue.

Texas senator John Cornyn said he returned to his state on Thursday only to get back on an early Friday morning flight to Washington.

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The Trump shutdown is a fitting way to end the second year of this presidency.

Both sides blamed the other for the shutdown, although Democrats had characterized it as a "Trump shutdown" and had cornered the President into owning in during a White House meeting last week. "I'll be the one to shut it down".

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

It means departments including Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture, State, and Justice will begin to shut down, while federal national parks and forests will also close.

Some agencies, including the defense, veterans' affairs and health and human services departments, were already funded for the year. The US Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected because it's an independent agency.

Most of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be sent on unpaid leave, including those who assist taxpayers with queries.

The disruption affects many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees.

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