The federal government partially shut down for the third time this year early Saturday as lawmakers in Washington continued to wrangle over funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.
With the impasse continuing, funding expired for the Commerce, Interior, Treasury and other departments. Some economic-data releases will be delayed if the shutdown continues into next week, and many federal workers will be furloughed. A shutdown won’t affect agencies including the Pentagon and Health and Human Services whose operations have already been funded.
After warning of a potentially lengthy shutdown, Trump spent Friday attempting to pin blame on Democrats, about a week after he said he would be “proud” to shut parts of the government in an effort to beef up border security via the construction of a physical wall.
Fears of a partial shutdown gripped Wall Street on Friday, helping to send U.S. stocks lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished the day lower and logged its worst week since October 2008. The U.S. dollar
rallied versus its major rivals.
Trump has made the construction of a wall along the Mexican border one of his signature proposals, but has increasingly vented frustrations that it hasn’t been built. Late Friday, he tweeted a drawing of what he called a design of “our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective”:
A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful! pic.twitter.com/sGltXh0cu9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in January. They have opposed giving Trump the $5 billion or more that he has sought for a wall, and some mocked his suggestion of a steel barrier:
Senators were negotiating further on Friday night following a procedural vote on a House-passed bill containing $5.7 billion for border security.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the step allowed for preserving “maximum flexibility for productive conversations to continue between the White House and our Democratic colleagues.”
Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that he had canceled his scheduled Friday trip to his estate in Florida “while we wait and see if the Democrats will help us to protect America’s Southern Border!”
Both the House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene Saturday at noon.