Congress to reconvene with no end in sight for federal shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress was set to reconvene on Wednesday with no signs of a workable plan to end a 12-day-old partial shutdown of about a quarter of the U.S. government, and President Donald Trump not budging on his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives, returning from a short New Year’s Day break, will meet briefly, marking the last day of the Republican-controlled 2017-2018 Congress, one that was marked by deep partisan division.

Separately, Trump has invited the top Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to the White House on Wednesday for what congressional sources described as a border security briefing.

On Thursday, when Democrats take over the House in the 2019-2020 Congress, they plan to approve a two-part spending package meant to end the shutdown. But its prospects are grim in the Republican-led Senate, which previously approved similar measures on the floor or in committee but has since fallen in line with Trump’s demands to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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