US government shutdown will last into 2019 as Congress struggles for deal

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The partial government shutdown will continue into 2019, with leaders in the House of Representatives advising members on Thursday that no votes would be held this week. The Senate was expected to follow suit.

There had been a narrow chance that the House would convene on Thursday afternoon and vote on a deal to end the shutdown. But there was no sign that any headway had been made on such a deal, and Donald Trump remained insistent that the shutdown would continue until Congress supplies billions for a border wall with Mexico.

On Twitter on Thursday morning, Trump accused the Democrats of “obstruction” for failing to go along with his wall idea and asserted that Democrats “know it [the wall] is really needed”. Democrats say a border wall would be an expensive and ineffective solution to a problem that Trump exaggerates.

The shutdown began when the Republican majority in the Senate was unable to rally support for Trump’s wall, after House Republicans passed an 11th-hour wall funding bill on 20 December. The shutdown went into effect at midnight on 21 December.

Negotiations to reopen the government, such as there have been, will shift when Congress reconvenes on 3 January, when a new Democratic majority takes control of the House. Having failed to procure wall funding when his party controlled both houses of Congress, it was unclear how Trump intended to carry the day with Democrats partially in charge.

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