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‘Very Possible’ Shutdown Goes Into 2019, Says Incoming Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney

2 minute read

The partial government shutdown over funding for President Trump’s border wall may continue into the new year, said White House Budget Director and incoming acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

“It’s very possible the shutdown will go beyond [Dec. 28] and into the new Congress,” said Mulvaney, in an interview with host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday as the government shutdown went into its second day.

The partial shutdown, which was initiated on Saturday at 12:01 a.m. after Senate Democrats and the White House failed to reach an agreement over funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall, has affected roughly one quarter of the federal government, causing hundreds of thousands of federal employees to go without pay.

“This is what Washington looks like when you have a President who refuses to sort of go along to get along,” said Mulvaney on Sunday morning.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the Senate, sent his colleagues home on Saturday for Christmas, making a rapid resolution to the partial shutdown extremely unlikely.

“I don’t think things are going to move very quickly here for the next couple days,” Mulvaney said to Wallace on Sunday morning.

“You’re not getting the wall today, next week, or on Jan. 3 when Democrats take control of the House,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during a speech on the Senate floor on Saturday.

The President, determined to get $5 billion for his proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, has flip-flopped between taking credit for the shutdown and blaming Democrats.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” said Trump in a contentious meeting with Democratic Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Schumer on Dec. 11. The President has subsequently blamed Democrats for the government shutdown, tweeting that “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” on Friday.

You can watch Mulvaney’s full interview below:

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Write to Alejandro de la Garza at alejandro.delagarza@time.com