Midnight shutdown all but sure but talks persist at Capitol

Midnight shutdown all but sure but talks persist at Capitol, by Lisa Mascaro.

White House negotiators left the Capitol late Friday, and the House and Senate adjourned without a spending deal, all but ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight with President Donald Trump demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised Mexican border wall.

Trump’s top envoys were straining to broker a last-minute compromise with Democrats and some of their own Republican Party’s lawmakers.

The shutdown, scheduled for midnight, would disrupt government operations and leave hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed or forced to work without pay just days before Christmas. Senators passed legislation ensuring workers receive back pay; it will be sent to the House.

At a White House bill signing, Trump said the government was “totally prepared for a very long shutdown,” though hardly anyone thought a lengthy shutdown was likely. …

Trump said he would accept money for a “Steel Slat Barrier” with spikes on the top, which he said would be just as effective as a “wall” and “at the same time beautiful.”