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Dec 22, 2018
12:18PM

US govt shutdown begins after no deal in Congress over border wall

US house
The US government began a Christmas shutdown early today, after Congress adjourned without passing a federal spending bill or addressing President Donald Trump's demand for money to build a border wall.
 
Operations for several key agencies ceased, despite last-ditch talks that continued on Capitol Hill between White House officials and congressional leaders in both parties.

Trump has dug in on his demand for 5 billion dollars for construction of a wall on the US border with Mexico. 

The shutdown is the third this year and it remained unclear how long it would last. Trump expressed hope late Friday night that it "will not last long," after earlier saying he was ready for just that.

About three-quarters of the government, including the military and the Department of Health and Human Services, is fully funded until the end of September 2019, leaving 25 per cent unfunded as of Saturday.

While most critical security functions will be operational, the effects of the budget wrangling and uncertainty have cast an air of chaos over the capital, which is also reeling from the resignation announcement Thursday by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

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