The partial shutdown of the federal government is now in its seventh day and it may go on for a while after negotiations to end it through funding of a border wall have fallen apart.
Mola Lenghi reported from the White House.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says negotiations to end the partial government shutdown, now in its seventh day, appear to have hit a wall.
“We made an offer last Saturday night. They told us they would get back to us by the end of the week. The got back to us last night and said ‘we’re leaving.’ That’s it. No more discussions. So discussions have broken down,” said Mulvaney.
Mulvaney and the Vice President met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to seek agreement about funding a border wall. The President initially demanded $5 billion.
“On Saturday afternoon we sat down with mister Schumer and gave him a number below five, I’m not gonna tell you what it is,” said Mulvaney.
Senator Schumer said in a statement last night the two sides are “very far apart.”
Despite a willingness to negotiate, President Trump appears to be doubling down on the issue. In an early morning tweet, he threatened to completely close the southern border until he gets a wall.
About 420,000 essential employees, like border patrol officers, TSA agents and law enforcement remain on the job.
Mulvaney says they will get paychecks being issued today.
Instead of doing his job, Federal Aviation Engineering Technician John Martyn is one of 380,000 federal employees sitting at home.
“When they can’t come to a conclusion on their own we shouldn’t be penalized for that,” said Martyn. “It’s frustrating and it hurts.”
The shutdown will likely continue until the next congress convenes on January 3.