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GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sight

Updated: 2018-12-29 08:12

A sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, Dec 22, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

With another long holiday weekend coming and nearly all lawmakers away from the Capitol there is little expectation of a quick fix.

"We are far apart," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told CBS on Friday, claiming of Democrats, "They've left the table all together."

Mulvaney said Democrats are no longer negotiating with the administration over an earlier offer to accept less than the $5 billion Trump wants for the wall.

Democrats said the White House offered $2.5 billion for border security, but that Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told Vice President Mike Pence it wasn't acceptable.

"There's not a single Democrat talking to the president of the United States about this deal," Mulvaney said Friday Speaking on Fox News and later to reporters, he tried to drive a wedge between Democrats, pinning the blame on House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

"My gut was that (Schumer) was really interested in doing a deal and coming to some sort of compromise. But the more we're hearing this week is that it's Nancy Pelosi who's preventing that from happening," he said, alleging that if Pelosi "cuts a deal with the president of any sort before her election on January 3rd she's at risk of losing her speakership, so we're in this for the long haul."

Pelosi has all but locked up the support she needs to win the gavel on Jan 3 and there is also no sign of daylight between her and Schumer in the negotiations over government funding.

Mulvaney added of the shutdown: "We do expect this to go on for a while." Democrats brushed off the White House's attempt to cast blame.

"For the White House to try and blame anyone but the president for this shutdown doesn't pass the laugh test," said Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer.

Pelosi has vowed to pass legislation to reopen the nine shuttered departments and dozens of agencies now hit by the partial shutdown as soon as she takes the gavel, which is expected when the new Congress convenes.

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