Government Shutdown Could Last Until January, White House Says

By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter

December 24, 2018

government shutdown enters third day

With the third partial government shutdown of 2018 entering its third day on Monday, the White House acknowledged that the government could remain closed through the new year. 

The fight over $5 billion in funding for President Donald Trump's wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico remains a sticking point for both sides, with Democrats in the Senate refusing to authorize any funding for it. 

"Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence," Trump posted on Twitter Monday. "It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign, because people and drugs were pouring into our Country unchecked, that they turned against it. Desperately needed!"

Republicans in the House passed a spending bill last week that included an additional $5 billion in funding for the wall last week. However, it didn't get far in the Senate, where Democrats say they won't support any bill that contains funding for Trump's wall. Any spending bill will need at least some Democrats to vote for it in the Senate. 

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday that the White House had made a new offer to Democrats that would spend $1.3 billion on border security, but wouldn't be the full $5 billion that Trump has called for in order to build the wall on the southern border with Mexico. 

Mulvaney said because the Senate is out of session until at least Thursday, the shutdown could extend into the new Congress, which will be seated on Jan. 3. 

"I don't think things are going to move very quickly," said Mulvaney. 

The Washington Post reported the White House asked for $2.1 billion for border security, and another $400 million for other immigration efforts. 

The White House says their counteroffer to Democrats puts the ball in their corner. 

"If Director Mulvaney says the Trump Shutdown will last into the New Year, believe him – because it’s their shutdown," a spokesman for New York Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. 

"If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January," Democratic leaders said in a statement.

Markets continued to fall Monday after experiencing its worst week since 2008 last week and its worst December since the Great Depression. Investors are attempting to deal with a rash of issues, including Trump's trade wars, the shutdown and an unusual and unprompted statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the weekend that U.S. banks were healthy and held plenty of liquidity. 

Photo: Getty Images

Chat About Government Shutdown Could Last Until January, White House Says