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Government shutdown: timeline, deadline, Trump, Democrats argument

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President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats seem to be dug in over the government shutdown, and after two weeks without a funding bill, there’s no end in sight.

At the heart of the dispute is Trump’s demand for just over $5 billion toward a long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border. Democrats insist they will allocate no money toward a wall.

Those factors mean the possibility of a record-breaking shutdown seems to be growing. As it stands, the shutdown is in its 14th day — the record is a 21-day shutdown in 1995-1996.

Read more: Here’s a history of all the previous shutdowns in the modern era»

The shutdown only affects part of the federal government, as seven of the 12 bills that fund the government were passed in September. But a large number of departments are shuttered, including agriculture, commerce, justice, homeland security, the interior, state, transportation, and housing and urban development.

The problems caused by the shutdown are wide-ranging, from waste piling up in national parks to uncertainty for 800,000 federal workers about when their next paycheck will come.

Read more: Here’s what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown»

But despite the growing pain and uncertainty, the two sides appear no closer to a deal.

With all that in mind, here’s a rundown of just how we got here:

  • December 6: Congress passes a short-term funding bill to delay the shutdown until after the date of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
  • December 11: Democratic leaders and President Donald Trump meet to discuss the funding deadline. Trump demands $5 billion in border-wall funding, Democrats counter with an offer of $1.6 billion in general border-security funding. Trump rejects the idea and offers to take the blame for the shutdown. The president says he would be “proud” to shut down the government.
  • December 19: The Senate passes a clean short-term funding bill, called a continuing resolution (CR), that does not include border-wall funding but will keep the government open until February 8. Trump supported the bill at the time, Senate GOP leaders said.
  • December 20: Trump flip-flops on the clean CR after listening to attacks from conservative TV pundits and the hardline House Freedom Caucus, and he announces that he will not sign a bill with no wall funding. House Republicans then pass a CR that includes $5.7 billion in wall funds.
  • December 21: Trump demands the Senate vote for the House version of the CR and tells Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get rid of the legislative filibuster in order to pass the vote with only GOP lawmakers, but the idea is a nonstarter. The Senate votes down the House version of the bill, and the government moves closer to a shutdown at the midnight deadline.
  • December 22: McConnell announces in the afternoon that lawmakers have not reached a deal, and adjourns the Senate until December 27. Senior Trump administration officials also suggested to reporters that the White House would not back down on the wall, indicating that only Senate Democrats could end the shutdown by caving on the funding.
  • January 1: After a relatively quiet Christmas break, Trump suggests Nancy Pelosi should make a deal. “Border Security and the Wall “thing” and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?” Trump tweets.
  • January 2: Congressional leaders from both parties meet with Trump at the White House, it is the first face-to-face meeting in three weeks. The president enlists Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to make the case for the border wall. Following the meeting, Democratic leaders reiterate that no money will be allocated for the wall.
  • January 3: Democrats take over control of the House and Pelosi is elected Speaker. Later in the night, the new Democratic majority passes two bills which would both fund the government that do not include funding for the border wall. The bills even earned a handful of GOP votes. Despite the bills being nearly identical to the measures passed by the Senate before the holiday break, Republican Senate leaders reject the idea of taking up the bills.
  • January 4: Congressional leaders meet with Trump at the White House. It is unclear if any progress is made.
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