Shutdown continues, as Trump threatens to close southern border
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/28/18, 10:40 am
President Donald Trump threatened Friday to close the U.S.-Mexico border entirely if Congress doesn’t fund construction of a border wall, as a partial government shutdown approaches one week with no solution in sight. Incoming acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Democrats have ignored a White House offer to lower funding levels for the border wall from the president’s original request of $5 billion. “There’s not a single Democrat talking to the president of the United States about this deal,” Mulvaney said. “We do expect this to go on for a while.” Trump has refused Democratic offers to fund $1.3 billion for fencing but no wall.
Congress adjourned for the week without reaching a resolution, which likely means the new, divided Congress will inherit the shutdown when it reconvenes on Thursday. Funding ran out for nine federal departments and several agencies on Saturday, but with the weekend and days off for the Christmas holiday, Wednesday was the first regularly scheduled workday affected by the shutdown. Around 420,000 employees deemed essential are still working, while 380,000 are on furlough.
The president also threatened Friday to cut off aid to three Central American countries, where most of the migrants have originated. “Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money,” he tweeted. “Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries—taking advantage of U.S. for years!”
Mulvaney told Fox News Friday morning that Trump had canceled plans to travel to Florida for the New Year’s holiday, opting to stay in Washington during the shutdown impasse with Congress.
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