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Partial Government Shutdown Expected to Last Through Christmas


The federal government remains in partial 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 went to Capitol Hill Saturday to take a counter-offer to Democrats, while President Trump met with Republican lawmakers over lunch.  Some told the president to fight for the wall.  Others told him to reopen the government.  

The Senate and the House also met on Saturday for a rare weekend session, but adjourned until Christmas Eve, and will not be back for a full session until Thursday. 

A temporary measure to keep the government running for a few days while a compromise is reached also seemed unattainable.

"Listen, anything can happen," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters after he closed the session.

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.

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