Dec. 28 (UPI) — Congress adjourned Thursday without any votes scheduled on a spending bill to end a partial government shutdown which may last into 2019.
The House and Senate both held brief pro forma sessions, which lasted less than 3 minutes, on the sixth day of the shutdown, before adjourning again until Monday, CNN reported.
Neither chamber scheduled any votes on Thursday and leaders of both chambers said lawmakers would receive 24-hour notice if any votes are scheduled before the new Congress starts Jan. 3.
President Donald Trump and the White House said any deal must provide funding for a border wall. The president blamed Democrats for holding up negotiations.
Trump accused Democrats of “OBSTRUCTION of the desperately needed wall” in a series of tweets on Thursday afternoon.
“The reason the DACA for Wall deal didn’t get done was that a ridiculous court decision from the 9th Circuit allowed DACA to remain, thereby setting up a Supreme Court case,” Trump wrote, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “After ruling, Dems dropped deal — and that’s where we are today, Democrat obstruction of the needed Wall.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized Democrats for leaving Washington, D.C., over the Christmas holiday, although Republicans were also away from the Capitol.
“The Administration understands this crisis and made a reasonable, common-sense solution to Democrats five days ago — we’ve not received a single response,” she said. “The President and his team stayed in Washington over Christmas hoping to negotiate a deal that would stop the dangerous crisis on the border, protect American communities, and re-open the government. The Democrats decided to go home.”
“Democrats have offered Republicans three options to re-open government that all include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security — but not the President’s immoral, ineffective and expensive wall,” he wrote. “With the House Majority, Democrats will act swiftly to end the Trump Shutdown, and will fight for a strategic, robust national security policy, including strong and smart border security, and strong support for our servicemembers and veterans.”
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees were furloughed or have been working without pay as a result of the shutdown.
On Thursday, the Office of Personnel Management shared a link of sample letters furloughed employees can reference while communicating with creditors, mortgage companies and landlords.
“Feds, here are sample letters you may use as a guide when working with your creditors during this furlough. If you need legal advice please consult with your personal attorney,” the agency wrote.
The OPM recommended employees contact companies first to negotiate a payment plan they can confirm in a subsequent letter.
Since the shutdown began Dec. 22, federal paychecks set to go out Dec. 28, are expected to be delivered on time, but may contain a lesser amount than usual. Employees may not receive payment for subsequent periods depending on how long the shutdown lasts.