The US government has been forced into a partial shutdown after Democrats refused to meet Donald Trump’s demands for five billion dollars to start erecting a wall on the Mexico border.
The White House halted work at a string of cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no compromise.
White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum late on Friday telling them to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby told reporters: “We don’t have a deal. We’re still talking.”
With negotiations expected to continue, the House and Senate both scheduled rare Saturday sessions. House members were told they would get 24 hours’ notice before a vote.
The gridlock blocks money for nine of 15 cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies – including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture and State and Justice. Read more