Mon, Dec 24, 2018 - Page 5 News List

US government to remain shut over Christmas

AFP, WASHINGTON

The partial US government shutdown is to stretch through Christmas, as the US Congress on Saturday adjourned with no deal to end the impasse over funding for US President Donald Trump’s wall on the Mexico border.

Due to the shutdown — which saw several key US agencies cease operations at 12:01am on Saturday — Trump said that he would remain in Washington over Christmas instead of going to Florida.

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

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

Top US Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer blasted the US president and blamed him for provoking the shutdown.

“President Trump, if you want to open the government abandon the wall, plain and simple,” he said.

“The Trump shutdown isn’t over border security; it’s because President Trump is demanding billions of dollars for an expensive, ineffective wall that the majority of Americans don’t support,” he added.

Most critical US security functions remain operational, but 800,000 federal workers are affected, with many furloughed only days before Christmas, while others deemed essential were working unpaid.

New York’s governor provided funding to the Statue of Liberty monument and Ellis Island so the key attractions could remain open.

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