The federal government has partially shut down after Congress and President Donald Trump failed to reach an agreement on $5 billion in spending for his border wall.
Vice President Mike Pence, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney left the Capitol late Friday after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no apparent compromise.
“We don’t have a deal. We’re still talking,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters.
Late Friday, Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown.” He wrote that administration officials were “hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration.”
Negotiations are expected to continue as the House and the Senate both scheduled rare Saturday sessions just three days before Christmas.
Nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State, and Justice, will be affected by the shutdown.
Almost 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and will report for work without pay. Another 380,000 will be furloughed and will stay home without pay.
The Senate has already passed legislation to make sure the workers receive back pay. The House is expected to also approve the measure.
The US Postal Service will not be affected by the shutdown since it’s an independent agency. Social Security checks will still go out in the mail.
Also still functioning is the military, the FBI, the Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard. Transportation Security Administration officials and staff will continue to operate airport security checkpoints at airports and air traffic controllers will also remain on duty as millions of Americans begin their holiday travel.