Wall prototypes sit on the US-Mexico border

Watergate journalist explains why impeaching Trump has become ‘inevitable

And that was all before a Bloomberg News report late Friday that Trump was talking openly to advisers about firing Jerome Powell, the head of the nation's central bank - whose independence from the president is a bedrock feature of the United States financial system.

Because the government is around 75 percent funded this time around, many employees will be paid through mid-January, but after that, furloughed federal employees' paychecks will begin to dry up, according to officials with the American Federation of Government Employees, one of the nation's largest unions representing federal employees.

Christmas Day was an annual federal holiday. "The whole thing is juvenile".

Some congressional estimates predicted an additional 380,000 federal employees would be furloughed from the shutdown, meaning they must take a leave of absence, bringing the total number of affected workers to around 800,000. "But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas", the President said as he fielded reporters' questions after talking with members of the armed forces. They said they just want their jobs back.

The promise of a border wall was a central component of Trump's presidential campaign. Mr. Schumer told reporters after a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence, "If you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall".

The Democratic leadership's ideological belief in essentially an "open borders" policy and the desire to deny the president nearly anything he seeks was underscored last week by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer's declaration that the impasse will not end until Republicans throw in the towel on "the wall".

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"The people of this country want border security", he said, demanding "a wall, a fence, whatever they want to call it". Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of government workers will either not return to work after the holiday or have to work without pay.

"I can't tell you when the government's going to be open". Those who perform shift work, such as border patrol agents and airport security workers, have been unable to take time off and have been working without pay since Saturday, she said.

High on the laundry list was the Democrats, whom he blamed for a partial government shutdown which dragged into its 4th day - paralyzing key federal services such as national parks - with no end in sight. I'll call it whatever they want, he said to reporters after the annual Christmas tradition of calling USA troops deployed overseas.

Lawmakers have limited the administration to replacing or strengthening existing barrier designs, rather than building Trump's new wall prototypes.

US Democratic leaders charged Monday that President Donald Trump was "plunging the country into chaos" with multiple crises and said he was offering no way to end a government shutdown.

A new Treasury Employees Union survey also showed that almost 80% of its members are "very concerned" about paying for their basic living expenses this month, and even more are tightening their belts as they worry about delayed or lost pay, the union said.

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