The partial government shutdown continues with seemingly no end in sight as President Trump and Democratic lawmakers refuse to compromise and pass a spending bill – with funding for a border wall at the crux of the fight.
The government partially shuttered at midnight on Dec. 22. The shutdown affects about one-quarter of the government, including nine Cabinet-level departments. It has also culminated in hundreds of thousands of federal employees off the job or working without pay.
Trump has repeatedly vowed not to reopen the government without $5.7 billion for wall constructions. Democrats have refused to capitulate and have favored measures that would bolster border security as a whole instead of a concrete wall.
There’s growing concern about the toll the shutdown is having on Americans, including disruptions in payments to farmers, trouble for home buyers seeking government-backed mortgage loans and uncertainty over food assistance programs.
Here is a brief timeline of what has happened throughout the weeks-long shutdown.
In a continued push for the wall, Trump traveled to the southern border on Jan. 10. He escalated warnings that he could circumvent Congress and declare a national emergency to get his wall built if a deal can’t be made.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again rejected a plan to include Trump’s requested funding for a border wall, the president abruptly left the meeting with congressional leaders at the White House. In a tweet, Trump called the Jan. 9 meeting a “total waste of time.”
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“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works,” Trump said.
The House also passed a bill that would fund the Treasury Department, IRS and a bevy of other agencies through the next year as part of Democrats’ plan to reopen the government on a piecemeal basis. However, it is unlikely to advance through the Senate.
Trump delivered the first primetime address from the Oval Office during his presidency on Jan. 8, calling for the border wall and decrying what he perceives as the “growing humanitarian and security crisis” of surging illegal immigration.
Following his address, Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer derided Trump’s rhetoric and “obsession” with the wall.
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“There is an obvious solution: separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security. There is bipartisan legislation – supported by Democrats and Republicans – to re-open the government while allowing debate over border security to continue,” said Schumer.
Trump suggested using steel to build the border wall instead of concrete in what he framed as a concession to Democrats. On Twitter, he said it was a “good solution.”
After meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Jan. 4, Trump warned the shutdown could last for “years” unless he can come to an agreement with Democrats over the border wall funding. He also floated the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get his wall built.
After gaining control of the House, Democrats passed a few bills on Jan. 3 that would have reopened the federal government. However, the package did not include funding for the border wall – making it moot.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will refuse to “take up any proposal that does not have a real chance of passing this chamber and getting a presidential signature.”
The American Federation of Government Employees filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Dec. 31, alleging workers who earned overtime have not been paid on time amid the shutdown and are entitled to liquidated damages.
The law firm representing the union won a similar case during the 2013 government shutdown.
Without a spending deal, the government partially shuttered at midnight on Dec. 22. Only about a quarter of the government was affected by the shutdown, including nine Cabinet-level departments.
Fox News’ Sally Persons, Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.