The Government Shutdown Could Last Until January as Leaders Leave Washington

Donald Trump warns of 'long stay' amid partial government shutdown over Mexico wall

US government shutdown could stretch to Thursday

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said a counteroffer was presented over the weekend to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

With Senate Democrats saying they will never accede to Trump's insistence on the $5 billion for his wall, and the White House offering no indication that the president will accept less, nine of the federal government's 15 Cabinet-level departments have officially shuttered.

The fundamental stalemate remains in place: Trump says he won't accept legislation unless it contains about US$5 billion in funding for his border wall, and Democrats have the votes to block any wall money from going through Congress.

Mulvaney predicted the shutdown could stretch into January, when Democrats assume control of the House. He says it's an issue of border security.

Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia - a state bordering the USA capital that is home to many federal workers - urged Trump in a letter Saturday to push immediate action to end the shutdown, saying it "inflicts real harm" on workers.

"I have grandparents who immigrated to America legally, they did it the correct way and it's time we uphold our laws, and get this wall BUILT!"

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Agreeing to spend new money only on bollard-style fencing is a significant concession for the White House because it rules out any of the concrete designs that Mr. Trump forced the Border Patrol to test past year.

Clymer says on the page that "We saw some folks are raising money for a border wall to keep out our migrant siblings and fellow human beings, who are fleeing violence and persecution and whose tragically-underpaid labor is essential to the USA economy".

Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, blamed the shutdown on a "remarkable two-week temper tantrum" by the president, who he said could reopen the government if he would "abandon the wall".

Even though Republicans hold a majority in the chamber, they need Democratic votes to get to the 60-vote threshold to pass funding measures.

Mr. Trump last week called it "steel slats", and his budget director on Sunday called it fencing rather than a wall - a major concession for a president who has pointedly corrected people who called his barrier a fence.

Interior secretary Ryan Zinke, who greeted visitors at the Second World War memorial and other sites in Washington during the last shutdown, said he is stepping down at the end of the year.

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The President wants a whopping $5billion (£3.95bn) to help fund it, but the Democratic opposition has only offered $1.3 billion (£1bn). An additional 380,000 were to be furloughed, meaning they will stay home without pay.

What is clear, though, is that Trump is all alone (for now) in the White House today and isn't exactly suffering in silence.

About three-quarters of the government, including the military and the Department of Health and Human Services, is fully funded until the end of September next year, leaving 25 per cent unfunded as of Saturday. The sticking point: President Trump's border wall.

Where do negotiations stand between the president and Democrats?

Meanwhile, more than 380,000 employees will be furloughed - including almost all of Nasa and Housing and Urban Development and 41,000 Commerce Department employees. Absent from the guest list were GOP leaders.

"We know where we would go next, and this is based on field commanders' input", a Homeland Security official said last week while briefing reporters on the administration's request.

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