Trump says shutdown will continue until his border wall demand is met


Senate Democratic leaders over the weekend rejected an offer by Vice President Mike Pence for $2.1 billion in barrier funding and $400 million for other border security tools - which his boss mocked in one Sunday tweet.

The shutdown didn't stop people from visiting the White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, where hundreds of unauthorized visitors have in recent days climbed over a fence to enter the monument, according to The Alamogordo Daily News.

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of festive spirit at the White House this Christmas...

The US President did not say how he was hearing from federal workers, excluding those he appointed to their jobs or who work with him in the White House.

The partial federal shutdown was expected to drag into Christmas as President Donald Trump and congressional leaders remained stuck in a standoff over his border wall with Mexico.

"As long as the president is guided by the House Freedom Caucus", Pelosi and Schumer said of that conservative faction, "it's hard to see how he can come up with a solution that can pass both the House and Senate and end his 'Trump Shutdown'". "We can't do it without a barrier, we can't do it without a wall", Trump continued.

Democrats oppose spending money on a wall, preferring instead to pump the dollars into fencing, technology and other means of controlling access to the border.

They pointed to problems beyond the shutdown, including heavy losses on Wall Street and Trump's decision to fire his defense secretary.

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The shutdown is partial because 75% of government funding was already approved for the budget year that started in October. Two typically busy coffee shops near the White House were mostly empty around 8 a.m.

National Park Service employees open the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, in Washington. The shutdown began at midnight last Friday. "We are not going to let that take place", the president said.

Some 800,000 federal workers must either work without pay for the time being, or stay home and wait to be paid later. "It's stressful for staff, it's stressful for inmates, and the government shutdown and not knowing if you're going to get a paycheck in a couple of weeks is an unneeded stress", he said.

Several Cabinet departments and agencies have been closed since Saturday after their funding lapsed.

"It's a disgrace what's happening in our country", Trump said in the Oval Office.

Trump excused federal employees from work on Monday and Christmas is a federal holiday, meaning the public could begin to notice the shutdown's effects on Wednesday.

One union representing federal workers slammed Trump's claim.