The Latest: Dim prospect for ending shutdown soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the government shutdown (all times local):

6 p.m.

The partial government shutdown appears no closer to resolution.

Lawmakers are away from Washington for the holidays and have been told they will get 24 hours’ notice before having to return for a vote. And although the Senate is slated to come into session Thursday afternoon, few senators are expected to be around for it. After a weekend and two holiday days for federal employees, Wednesday was the first regularly scheduled workday affected by the shutdown.

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The federal budget impasse is over President Donald Trump’s push for money to build a border wall. The standoff with Democrats has been hardening and threatens to carry on into January.

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2:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll do “whatever it takes” to get funding for border security, signaling no end in sight to the partial government shutdown.

Trump declined to tell reporters Wednesday what amount of wall funding he would accept to end the shutdown. Instead he cast blame on Democrats and said “the American public is demanding a wall.”

Trump spoke to reporters who traveled with him to Iraq.

Trump has requested $5 billion for the wall, an amount Democrats have rejected. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has said the wall funding will “never pass the Senate” and urged Trump to abandon the request so the government can be funded.

The shutdown started Saturday after funding lapsed for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and are working unpaid, while 380,000 were furloughed.

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12:10 a.m.

Christmas has come and gone but the partial government shutdown is just getting started.

Wednesday brings the first full business day after several government departments and agencies closed up over the weekend due to a budgetary stalemate between President Donald Trump and Congress.

And there is no end in sight.

So far, the public and federal workers have largely been spared inconvenience and hardship because government is closed on weekends and federal employees were excused from work on Christmas Eve and Christmas, a federal holiday. The shutdown began at midnight last Friday.

Trump said Tuesday that the closed parts of the government will remain that way until Democrats agree to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border to deter criminal elements. But Democrats see the border wall as wasteful and ineffective.

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