Shutdown Enters Fourth Day Amid Impasse Over Trump's Border Wall

(Bloomberg) -- The partial U.S. government shutdown entered its fourth day on Tuesday as the White House and lawmakers are at an impasse over President Donald Trump’s demands to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • There’s little indication of urgency to resolve the dispute and no public indication of progress on Tuesday, which is a federal holiday in the U.S. Trump is demanding $5 billion for a border wall while Democratic leaders have proposed $1.3 billion for border security.
  • Congressional leaders left town for the Christmas holiday while Trump remains at the White House.

Latest Developments

  • Trump repeatedly attacked Democrats on Twitter Monday over the shutdown. “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,” Trump wrote.
  • Democrats said Monday they’re having trouble negotiating with the Trump administration. “Different people from the same White House are saying different things about what the president would accept or not accept to end his Trump Shutdown, making it impossible to know where they stand at any given moment,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in joint statement.
  • In a sign the president’s strategy has sparked serious unease among Republicans, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas -- the only senator at the Capitol Monday -- suggested a compromise to reopen the government but without wall funding.

Next Steps

  • Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have been negotiating with the Trump administration. Once they reach agreement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’ll seek a vote on the deal.
  • If the shutdown lasts past Jan. 3, when Democrats take control of the House, Democratic leader Pelosi, who is in line to become speaker, said the chamber will pass a spending bill to reopen the government -- without money for a wall.

Key Impacts

  • The shutdown, which began Saturday, affects nine of 15 federal departments, dozens of agencies and hundreds of thousands of workers.
  • Among the departments without funding are: Justice, Homeland Security, Interior and Treasury. Independent agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, are also affected.
  • The departments whose funding lapsed represent about a quarter of the $1.24 trillion in government discretionary spending for fiscal year 2019.
  • An estimated 400,000 federal employees will work without pay and 350,000 will now be furloughed, according to a congressional Democratic aide.
  • The remaining parts of the government, including the Defense Department, Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, were already funded and won’t be affected by the shutdown, nor will mandatory entitlement programs like Medicare payments.

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