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Partial shutdown likely to extend past Christmas

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is expected to remain partially shut down past Christmas.

The standoff over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion to build a border wall with Mexico deepened on Saturday. Democrats are rejecting Trump’s demand as costly and ineffective, and any agreement to reopen the entire government appeared out of reach until the Senate returns for a full session next Thursday.

No one knows how long the closures will last. Unlike other shutdowns, this one seems to lack urgency, coming during the long holiday weekend after Trump had already declared Monday, Christmas Eve, a federal holiday.

Rather than work around the clock, the leaders of the House and the Senate effectively closed up shop. But they haven’t ruled out action if a deal were struck.