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Partial Government Shutdown Takes Effect Amid Dispute Over Border Wall


A partial shutdown of the U.S. government took effect at midnight on Friday after lawmakers failed to negotiate an agreement over funding for President Donald Trump's controversial border wall.

The government shutdown, the third of the year, comes as Trump has demanded $5 billion for construction of the wall on the border with Mexico.

Democrats have previously expressed willingness to provide some money for border security but are staunchly opposed to the wall.

Both the House and the Senate adjourned hours ahead of the deadline to provide funding for key government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Interior Department.

In a sign negotiations will continue, the Senate narrowly voted to take up a continuing resolution passed by the House late Thursday.

The short-term spending bill approved by the House includes more than $5 billion for the construction of the wall, a figure that Democrats refuse to accept.

However, the vote to proceed to the legislation will allow the bill to be amended if lawmakers and the White House can reach an agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., said voting to proceed to the legislation will "preserve maximum flexibility for productive conversations to continue between the White House and our Democratic colleagues."

"I hope Senate Democrats will work with the White House on an agreement that can pass both houses of Congress and receive the president's signature," McConnell said.

Trump acknowledged the looming shutdown in a video posted to Twitter, repeating his claim that a wall is necessary for border security.

"It's very dangerous out there. Drugs are pouring in. Human trafficking. So many different problems, including gangs like MS-13," Trump said. "We don't want them in the United States. We don't want them in our country."

"The only thing that's going to stop that is great border security. With a wall, or a slat fence, or whatever you want to call it," he added. "But we need a great barrier. And if we don't have it, it's never going to work."

Trump has sought to blame Democrats for the shutdown after previously saying he would be "proud to shut down the government for border security," an issue that helped propel him to the White House.

"The shutdown hopefully will not last long," Trump said, although lawmakers have reportedly been told they will be given 24-hour notice before a vote, indicating the government will remain shut down until at least Saturday night.

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