Trump now describes his border wall as "steel slats"

Many government employees will not get paid until an agreement is reached

SHUTDOWN Many government employees will not get paid until an agreement is reached

A partial federal shutdown took hold early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump's demands for $5 billion to start erecting his long-sought Mexican border wall, a chaotic postscript for Republicans in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.

President Donald Trump's team was on Capitol Hill late Friday trying to broker a compromise as he pushes for billions of dollars in border wall funding.

For the shutdown to end, both the House and the Senate will have to approve any deal negotiated between Trump's team and Republican and Democratic leaders.

"We need border security and we cannot kick the can on disaster funding". "The shutdown will hopefully not last long".

If he doesn't stand his ground now against Pelosi and Schumer, and if he doesn't get serious funding for the wall, his political base will say goodbye.

On Wednesday, the Senate easily passed a temporary spending measure without any money for the wall after getting signals from the White House that Trump wouldn't press the issue and trigger a shutdown. Most workers who are required to work do not receive paychecks during that period, though continuing resolutions when passed nearly universally include back pay both for furloughed and active federal employees.

The US House of Representatives and the Senate adjourned without a deal on spending, and senators were told there would be no more votes on Friday night.

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Just a day ago, lawmakers had appeared on track to stave off a shutdown after the Senate passed its stopgap funding bill with top congressional Republicans signaling that they expected the President to sign the measure.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. The final numbers were 217-185 and many have said that the enthusiasm was greater than they have ever seen before.

Several departments and agencies, such as the Departments of Education, Labor and Defense, have already received funding for fiscal year 2019, hence the reason any shutdown would only be a "partial" one.

On the shortest day this winter, Trump plunged America into a darkness that goes beyond the particulars of the border wall or the Syria pull out or the Mattis resignation or anything else.

Building a border wall between the USA and Mexico has been intertwined with President Trump's political identity since 2015.

"There's no agreement", congressman Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus of ultra-conservatives, told reporters as he made his way from Senate meetings to the House.

Trump tried to blame Democrats.

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The bill is considered dead on arrival in the Senate, where the margin of Republicans to Democrats is now 51-49.

McConnell has so far resisted doing that, and Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Orrin Hatch indicated on Friday that they would not support it.

Trump last week met with Pelosi and Schumer in front of television cameras and said he'd be proud to take responsibility for shutting down the government over border protection funding.

Trump is seeking US$5 billion for construction of a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

The president claimed, "Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for border security!"

Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are funded for the year and would continue to operate as usual. National parks also would close unless the government declares them essential. To move past a filibuster, the Senate needs 60 of 100 votes.

Early this week, the Senate approved a bipartisan deal keeping government open into February and providing $1.3 billion for border security projects but not the wall.

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