Wall prototypes sit on the US-Mexico border

Geraldine Edwards
December 28, 2018

The Senate will be back in session on Thursday, but the House won't.

US President Donald Trump vowed Tuesday he would not reopen the government until he gets US$5 billion (S$6.86 billion) to fund his border wall, as the partial government shutdown dragged into a fourth day.

Trump made the claim in a morning tweet as the shutdown entered its sixth day, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed without pay amid signs pointing toward a prolonged standoff.

He added, "Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, 'stay out until you get the funding for the wall".

This is why the president has proudly proclaimed that the government shutdown can last until his eternal resting place freezes over because the people directly affected by it aren't his voters.

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Trump has demanded 5 billion US dollars for the wall, a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, but Democrats were only willing to approve 1.3 billion dollars to enhance border security. As Byron York of the Washington Examiner documented, Democrats backed the 2006 Secure Fence Act, as well as the 2013 proposal that would have insisted on building a barrier along the southern border.

- The Senate is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday but no schedule has been announced. This was caused by Trump and Democratic lawmakers being unwilling to change their strategy on border security. A member of the House Republican leadership indicated to Fox News that a resolution may not emerge until the new year. And there is no end in sight. The shutdown complicates things for essential employees who planned trips for the holidays: According to the Office of Personnel Management rules, employees deemed essential or otherwise exempted from their respective agency furloughs can't take any vacation or sick days.

No one in the history of ever has ever said that they are fine with not getting paid.

And of the departments and agencies that did lose money, more than half of those workers are on duty as well, including Border Patrol agents, airport baggage screeners, weather forecasters and air traffic controllers.

Their statement came as Trump unleashed a string of Christmas Eve tweets blasting Democrats for not making a counteroffer after Pence made his offer over the weekend.

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"This is outrageous", Sen. "They're public servants. And the President is treating them like poker chips at one of his failed casinos", Warner wrote on his Twitter account.

People walk up the steps even though the National Archives is closed with the partial government shutdown in Washington.

"Fear is probably the common denominator", said Luke Chung, president of software company FMS Inc., which had a government contract with Amtrak.

"They [federal employees] understand what's happening". Seven percent of Americans blamed congressional Republicans.

However, Trump claimed that those who are being hurt the most are Democrats. Contractors, unlike most federal employees, may never get back pay for being idled. Now he is asking Congress for the money. Because the sample of employees was drawn from subscribers to Government Executive magazines, these numbers are not representative of the entire federal workforce.

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US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone sharing updates to track Santa's movements from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018.

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