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Trump forgoes Florida Christmas trip, stays at White House amid government shutdown


Melania and Barron on their way back to Washington

Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is forgoing a trip to south Florida for Christmas as the government remains partially shutdown due to a budget stalemate, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Saturday.

"Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C. and the First Lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together," Sanders said.

Trump's wife, Melania, and his son, Barron, already left for the "Winter White House" on Friday.

The Senate adjourned Saturday without a plan to reopen the government, but plans to reconvene on Dec. 27.

Politico reported that it obtained a White House staff email that said the president could leave at noon on Saturday, which would have been a day earlier than planned. The plan was scrapped when it became clear that the government was not fully reopening.

"I am in the White House, working hard," Trump tweeted Saturday.

"...We are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more) but it could be a long stay," he added.

Some media outlets criticized Trump for continuing his plans to travel to his luxury resort while the government furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers and stopped some federal services just ahead of the holidays.

At issue is Trump's demand for $5 billion to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have said they instead want to spend $1.6 billion on drones, sensors, and other security measures. If Trump agrees to that plan, it would mark a sharp reversal of his insistence on the wall.

White House aides reportedly took notice of how it would appear should Trump continue his travel plans amid the shutdown.

"Maybe he thinks if the government shuts down, he can golf more comfortably," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.

What is the impact?

The partial shutdown will cause more than 800,000 federal workers to face furloughs or to work without pay. The shutdown also impacts funding for the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, State and Justice, along with national parks and forests.

Funding was already approved for the Defense Department, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, according to published reports. Those areas are expected to continue operating as usual.

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