The United States is likely to see yet another partial shutdown on Friday, December 21, as the White House refuses to budge on funds for the wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Donald Trump administration has said that the president would allow a partial government shutdown if Congress does not sanction $5 billion to build the wall. Calling it a "fundamental issue," senior adviser Stephen Miller said that the Democrats needed to decide if they were fine with illegal immigration in the country.
"At stake is the question of whether or not the United States remains a sovereign country," Miller told CBS News' "Face The Nation." "The Democrat Party has a simple choice. They can either choose to fight for America's working class or to promote illegal immigration. You can't do both."
Trump has spoken of the wall along the US-Mexico border since he began his presidential campaign and has been insisting that Congress sanction funds for the same. While the president does not have the support of many Republican lawmakers, the Democrats too have refused to relent on the matter.
The Democrats have offered to continue the current funding of $1.3 billion, but have specified that this was for fencing and other security measures and not for the wall.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that Trump has been having regular discussions on the matter and the president has also been tweeting on the same. "Anytime you hear a Democrat saying that you can have good Border Security without a Wall, write them off as just another politician following the party line. Time for us to save billions of dollars a year and have, at the same time, far greater safety and control!" he tweeted.
Due to the standoff, the US is now staring at a partial shutdown Friday onwards and over 800,000 workers are likely to be affected. Nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments and several agencies such as Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks and forests will also bear the brunt.
While hundreds of federal workers will be forced to work without pay even as the holidays approach, others may even be sent home during the shutdown.
"Our members are asking how they are supposed to pay for rent, food, and gas if they are required to work without a paycheck," the Associated Press quoted J. David Cox, Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, as saying. "The holiday season makes these inquiries especially heart-wrenching."
However, several agencies which have already received funding for the year will continue operations.
Even as hundreds of Americans hope for a resolution, Trump doesn't seem too concerned and is due to jet out to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for about 16 days on Friday, reported the Palm Beach Post. The president, last week, even said that he would be "proud" to shut down the government for border security.