The United States federal government officially went into a partial shutdown on Friday night as President Trump insists on funding for his border wall.
The president's promise to build a wall along the country's southern border was a main stalwart of his campaign, and he has now drawn a line in the sand. According to a report by CBS News, new federal budget was due by midnight on Friday, but as Democrats in the House and the Senate would not include $5 billion for the wall, the president refused to sign off.
Until a new spending plan is put in place, the departments of State, Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture and Justice are now partially shutting down. This means hundreds of thousands of federal employees are on temporary leave or working without pay.
There are a lot of moving parts in a government shutdown, but in this case the president has publicly taken responsibility. He invited the press to a meeting with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi earlier this week, where he said that he would be personally accountable if the government shut down. Either way, he would not approve any funding that did not include his wall. He has made similar statements on Twitter several times since.
Lawmakers are hoping to find another solution on Saturday. At 12 p.m. ET, both the House and Senate will convene on Capitol Hill to try again to negotiate a resolution. Still, with the final decision resting with the president himself, it seems that the shutdown could continue for quite some time. The White House has not revealed President Trump's public schedule for Saturday, which is unusual. First Lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, are already at Mar-a Lago for the holidays.
This could come down a simple waiting game between two parties. The president has made it clear that he will not sign anything with less than $5 billion allocated to his wall, while the Democrats seem confident that they can wait out that demand. House leader Pelosi issued a statement on Saturday stating that the new Democratic House would re-open the government in January.
"Regrettably, America has now entered a Trump Shutdown," said the statement. "Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House. But instead of honoring his responsibility to the American people, President Trump threw a temper tantrum and convinced House Republicans to push our nation into a destructive Trump Shutdown in the middle of the holiday season. President Trump has said more than 25 times that he wanted a shutdown and now he has gotten what he wanted."
In logistical terms, the shutdown should have little effect on day-to-day life as Americans head into the holiday season. The federal employees who are furloughed or working with pay should be paid eventually, and the essential offices such as the TSA, postal service and Secret Service are all still functioning.