Three Things to Watch as Partial Government Shutdown Plods On

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"I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it".

On Christmas Eve, President Trump and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, fielded phone calls from children who had called the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to check on Santa Claus's progress.

Four days into the shutdown, Mr. Trump has attempted to negotiate, but it's not clear there's been any movement from Democrats, as both sides begin to ponder a shutdown that could last into the new year.

The shutdown occurred after the 72-year-old president demanded over bn to fund the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico.

Despite surveys revealing that the measure is unpopular, and with the majority of respondents blaming Trump for the brinkmanship, the U.S. president has stuck to his guns.

I can't tell you when the government's going to be open. I'll call it whatever they want. But it's all the same thing.

In a Christmas Day appearance in the Oval Office (local time), Mr Trump issued a long defence of his desire for a wall, saying it was the only way to deter criminal elements such as stopping drugs and human traffickers from entering the country.

Federal employees affected by the partial shutdown of the United States government have been voicing their frustrations of spending the holidays worrying about their next paycheck. But these workers are not likely to receive any compensation until it ends, and legislation will need to be passed to pay them retroactively.

"While we're fighting over funding, we're also building, and it's my hope to have this done, completed, all 500 to 550 miles, to have it either renovated or brand new by Election Day", he said.

A fourth of the federal government shut down Saturday because of the failure by the President and congressional Democrats to agree on funding to build the border wall, for which he has demanded $5 billion.

The wall funding is the only major dispute standing between a deal to reopen the government and fund operations until September 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.

The stalemate over how much to spend and how to spend it caused the partial government shutdown that began Saturday following a lapse in funding for departments and agencies that make up about 25 percent of the government. "I just didn't want to to go down and be there when other people are hurting".

"Wednesday is really the first day that this kicks in", acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

"These federal workers want the wall", he added. Democrats say a physical barrier would be expensive and ineffective. So the burden of the shutdown for my family is more [of a] concern for my [family's] living expense in the near future. "But other than that I wish everyone a very merry Christmas".

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