GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sight

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After saying before the shutdown that he would take responsibiity for any closure of government, Trump has increasingly sought to place responsibility for the failure to pass a spending bill on Democrats.

Trump wants $5 billion in funding for a wall along the more than 2,000-mile border, which he says is now too porous to stop illegal immigration and which he says has become a magnet for criminals, drugs and even terrorists.

Mr. Trump said closing the border also could be justified as a response to NAFTA.

President Donald Trump greets members of the five branches of the military by video conference on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House.

"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with", Trump said in a morning tweet.

Experts have warned that cutting off aid money to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras could actually exacerbate the problem by worsening the poverty and violence that push many migrants to leave those countries. The new trade pact, known as the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, is awaiting approval by Congress.

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"He's taken our government hostage over his outrageous demand for a $5 billion border wall that would be both wasteful and ineffective". "We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries - taking advantage of USA for years!" he said.

The shutdown is now likely to last into the new year when Democrats will retake control of the House of Representatives. During the brief session in the House, Republicans shot down a Democratic attempt to vote on legislation to reopen the government.

In a tweet Thursday, he once more accused Democrats of wanting to encourage illegal immigrants, "an Open Southern Border and the large scale crime that comes with such stupidity!" "I will keep in touch with you to keep you informed about my income status and I would like to discuss with you the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments".

"So we fully expect that until she is elected speaker and has locked that vote up, we don't expect to hear from the Democrats again", Mulvaney continued.

"We continue to believe that it is unlikely that Congress will come up with a deal to end the current partial shutdown until well into January", financial firm Height Securities said in a commentary note on Wednesday. He alleged Democrats are not dealing because Pelosi is waiting until she secures the speakership.