For the first time since the end of 1995, the US is on course to start a new year amid a government shutdown. Both houses of Congress adjourned Thursday with no deal to end the partial shutdown that began at midnight on Dec. 21, the Guardian reports. With President Trump insisting on money for a border wall and Democrats refusing to give it to him, the standoff is expected to continue until Jan. 3, when Congress reconvenes with a Democratic majority in the House. "We will vote swiftly to reopen government and show that Democrats will govern responsibly in stark contrast to this chaotic White House," promised Nancy Pelosi, who will be the new House speaker.
Some 420,000 federal workers deemed essential are having to work without pay, while another 380,000 have been staying home unpaid and their financial stress is mounting, the AP reports. Sources tell Politico that Pelosi and her lieutenants are considering several options that would get employees back to work while denying Trump the $5 billion he is demanding. They are expected to pass a funding bill soon after new members are sworn in, putting more pressure on Republicans. "We want ... the government open, and my hope is we can get it opened before Jan. 3," says Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, the incoming House Rules Committee chairman. "If not, one of the first things we'll do will be to move to pass legislation to reopen the government. And the president can decide whether he wants to sign it or not." (Trump claimed Thursday that most furloughed workers are Democrats.)