The worst fears came true as US government began a Christmas-time shutdown early Saturday.
The situation arose after Congress adjourned without passing a federal spending bill or addressing President Donald Trump’s demand for money to build a border wall.
The situation came to being despite last-ditch talks that continued on Capitol Hill between White House officials and congressional leaders in both parties.
US lawmakers return to the Capitol after meeting with Trump at the White House.
Trump has dug in on his demand for $5 billion for construction of a wall on the US border with Mexico.
Democrats are staunchly opposed, and the absence of an elusive deal means federal funds for dozens of agencies will lapse when the clock strikes twelve.
Close to 800,000 federal employees will be either furloughed or forced to work without pay in the run-up to the Christmas holiday.>