Strike 'Government' Off Your Christmas Wish List

Lawmakers, White House fail to bridge the gap
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 22, 2018 1:55 PM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2018 4:16 PM CST
Congress Remains in Session
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is met by reporters as he arrives at the Capitol on the first morning of a partial government shutdown, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The partial federal shutdown was expected to drag into Christmas as President Trump and congressional leaders remained stuck in a standoff over his border wall with Mexico with no breakthrough Saturday, the AP reports. Vice President Mike Pence arrived on Capitol Hill with a counter-offer to Democrats after the two sides traded offers in recent days. At the White House, Trump heard mixed messages during a lunch with conservative lawmakers; some wanted him to fight for the wall, others preferred to get the government re-opened. The Senate, which had gaveled in with the House for a rare weekend session, adjourned until Christmas Eve, but won't return for a full session until Dec. 27. Even a temporary measure to keep government running for a few days while negotiations continued seemed out of reach.

"Listen, anything can happen," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters after he closed the session. But the situation seemed less hopeful for a resolution. The Republican chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, said a quick end to the shutdown was "not probable." "I don't think it's imminent we're going to reach a deal," Shelby told reporters after he ushered Pence through the halls for meetings. "I wish we could." Trump was demanding $5 billion for a wall, but congressional Democrats were refusing to accede in a stalemate that provided a chaotic coda for Republicans in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government. The president jettisoned his Florida holiday getaway to his club Mar-a-Lago, tweeting, "I am in the White House, working hard." (See what's affected by the shutdown.)

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