On Christmas Eve, Trump airs more grievances

On Christmas Eve, Trump airs more grievances

Kerry Wise
December 25, 2018

The partial government shutdown that began Saturday at midnight may well continue past the end of the month and into the new Congress due to be sworn in January 3, incoming acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney indicated on Fox News Sunday.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said the partial government shutdown gridlocking Washington could extend into the new year.

The US president said border security remained at the centre of discussions after he demanded $5bn (£4bn) to fund the construction of a wall along the US border with Mexico.

"The President will meet with Secretary Nielsen and other DHS officials today at 2pm to discuss border security", Sanders said in the statement.

Trump hosted a lunch with conservative lawmakers, including House Freedom Caucus chiefs Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of OH, and several senators, among them Lindsey Graham of SC.

The uncertainty also helped pushed Wall Street into another rout on Friday, ending its worst week in a decade.

"Instead of bringing certainty into people's lives, he's continuing the #TrumpShutdown just to please right-wing radio and TV hosts", Schumer tweeted, referring to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, among others, who ripped him for being unable to get funding for his long-promised border wall.

January 3 is the day that the new Congress will convene and the Democrats will take over the House of Representatives, after winning it in the polls in November.

Majority leader Mitch McConnell cited the Republican House bill that included $5bn for Trump's border wall as he passed the ball to Democrats and the president.

Outside the White House, Washington's National Christmas Tree became a forlorn symbol of the dysfunction gripping Trump's presidency two years after his surprise election.

Donald Trump Faults Republican Leadership for Broken Promise on Wall Fight
Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said: "If we're not going to fight now, when are we going to fight?" We want a secure border. Ryan told reporters that Trump informed them he would not sign the bill without border security funding.

Building a wall to try to prevent migrants from entering the United States illegally was a central plank of Trump's presidential campaign, but Democrats are vehemently opposed and have rejected his funding request.

The White House has opened the door for a compromise by talking about "steel slats" rather than the concrete wall Trump touted in the past.

Graham used a weekend luncheon with conservative lawmakers at the White House to impress on the president the rightness of his instinct on both the border wall and the troop withdrawal in Syria, while also sharing with Trump some ideas for smoothing the policy around both issues.

Those deemed "essential" are spared but employees of the rest (around 40%) are placed on unpaid leave and told not to work. Numerous biggest government functions, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs, have already been fully funded through September.

The disruption affects 800,000 federal employees.

In 2013, the Tea Party Republicans forced the shutdown over the better judgment of GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner. "What would you think if you didn't get paid?" he said. Legislation ensuring that workers receive back pay was expected to clear Congress.

Says Mulvaney: "We moved off of the five and we hope they move up from their 1.3".

Senators approved a bipartisan deal earlier in the week to keep the government open into February and provide $1.3 billion for border security projects, but not the wall.

"If you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall, plain and simple", Schumer said, accusing Trump of supporting an inefficient wall that would end up "swindling the American taxpayer".