US shutdown looks set to drag through Christmas

Vastavam web: A partial U.S. government shutdown was almost certain to drag through the Christmas holiday after the Senate adjourned on Saturday without breaking an impasse over President Donald Trump’s demand for more funds for a border wall. With no deal in sight on a bill to fund the government, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell sent senators home until Thursday. While he said he would call them back if a deal was struck, the decision all but guaranteed a partial shutdown would stretch at least until then.

Financing for about a quarter of federal government programs – including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Agriculture – expired at midnight and will not be renewed until a deal is done. Federal parks were to close and more than 400,000 federal “essential” employees in those agencies will work without pay until the dispute is resolved. Another 380,000 will be “furloughed”, meaning they are put on temporary leave.

The shutdown caps a perilous week for the president, with Defense Secretary James Mattis resigning in protest at Trump’s sudden decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. The planned withdrawal was widely criticized, even by senior Republicans in Congress. The political turmoil added to fears about the economy that are plaguing investor sentiment, helping fuel continued heavy losses in the stock market on Friday.