Mulvaney says it's 'very possible' the shutdown continues to the next Congress

Clay Curtis
December 24, 2018

Mulvaney, speaking with Fox News' Chris Wallace, said he gave Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat from NY, a "counter-offer" on Saturday below Trump's $5 billion demand for border wall funding and is "waiting to hear back".

Trump's own Republican party still controls both the House and Senate, but in January the House comes under Democratic control.

Trump sees this round of negotiations as his best, and possibly last, to exact wall funding from Congress, as Democrats are set to take over the House in January after big wins in the Midterm elections.

Trump postponed his holiday in Florida for more talks in the White House after several United States agencies ceased operations at midnight local time.

The president, who campaigned on building a wall that Mexico would pay for on the southern border, has been locked in a battle with congressional Democrats over funding for the barrier.

Donald Trump has warned it could be "a long stay" as he negotiates with Democrats to end a partial USA government shutdown.

"It's very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress", Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday".

The House then swiftly passed a bill that fulfilled the president's demands and included $5.7 billion in wall funding, but it stalled at the first hurdle in the Senate.

"This is what having a president who is nontraditional, who's a different kind of president who looks like", White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said.

Addressing the issue on Twitter, Mr Trump said: "On Syria, we were originally going to be there for three months, and that was seven years ago - we never left".

Donald Trump warns of 'long stay' amid partial government shutdown over Mexico wall

Mulvaney's hint at Trump's responsibility for the government shutdown was explicitly stated by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Asked why Trump doesn't accept the $1.6 billion for border security that Democrats have offered, Graham said it's because Democrats offered the money a year ago, signifying their unwillingness to work with the president to find compromise. A similar number were deemed essential - including Border Patrol officers, health inspectors and airport security workers - and are remaining on the job without pay.

The US National Parks will generally remain open with a skeleton staff, though an alert posted on the website of the National Park Service said some parks are closed completely.

Lawmakers can travel home for Christmas and won't have to worry about being called back to vote until a deal can be reached, but GOP leaders told senators that if there is no deal by Thursday, they would not have to return for that session, sources have told CNN.

Earlier this week, he said: "This is our only chance that we'll ever have, in my opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security".

Before Pence and Schumer met today, Schumer's office sent out a pre-emptive statement beforehand saying he would "remind" Pence that Democrats would not sign off on any wall funding.

Democrats said they were open to proposals that don't include a wall, which Schumer said is costly and ineffective. Trump promised during his successful presidential campaign in 2016 that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Also speaking with ABC News Sunday morning, he added that the administration was in a "good place in terms of getting the wall built and getting Mexico to participate in our border security".

The remaining 75% of the federal government is fully funded until September 2019 - so the defence, veterans affairs, labour and education departments are not affected.

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