Holiday-season gridlock in DC brings partial federal closure

  Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christmas-season gridlock has descended on the nation’s capital just before the holiday, with a partial government shutdown over a dispute about money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congressional Democrats are refusing to accede to President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to start erecting his long-promised barrier. The stalemate comes as Republicans are in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.

Vice President Mike Pence, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney left the Capitol late Friday after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no apparent compromise.

Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown.”

With negotiations expected to resume, the House and Senate scheduled rare Saturday sessions.

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