Federal employees are losing vacation time in government shutdown

"It's stressful for staff, it's stressful for inmates, and the government shutdown and not knowing if you're going to get a paycheck in a couple of weeks is an unneeded stress", he said. "The wall is President Trump's bone to the hard right".

"Trump, who tweeted Monday that he was "all alone (poor me)" at the White House, said Tuesday that he would "rather not be doing shutdowns", saying he "wasn't able to be with my family" because he thought it would be wrong for me to be with" them in Florida while the government was closed.

Democrats have said they will not provide Trump with additional funding beyond $1.6 billion already allocated for a border wall.

Overseeing the first major government shutdown on his watch, President Trump said Tuesday that he has no sense for when the departments that were shuttered will reopen - and said Democrats' treatment of him has been "a disgrace".

Despite surveys revealing that the measure is unpopular, and with the majority of respondents blaming Trump for the brinkmanship, the United States president has stuck to his guns.

"I can't tell you when the government is going to reopen", Trump said, speaking after a Christmas Day video conference with USA troops serving overseas.

"I'll call it whatever they want, but it's all the same thing", he told reporters after participating in a holiday video conference with representatives from all five branches of the military stationed in Alaska, Bahrain, Guam and Qatar.

800,000 of 2.1 million federal employees have been affected, with nine of 15 government departments being officially de-funded. "So we're going to have great wall there and we have other sections to give out".

On Christmas Day, Trump said the shutdown will last until Democrats agree to $5 billion in new funding, despite his campaign pledge that he would make Mexico pay for the wall. "Anna, and my son McGyver & I would love to help with your mortgage if you will allow. #MerryXmas", he added.

So far, the public and federal workers have largely been spared inconvenience and hardship because the government is closed on weekends and federal employees were excused from work on Christmas Eve and Christmas, a federal holiday.

"The only way you're going to do it is to have a physical barrier, meaning a wall".

"I mean border security is great, but basically, that feels like extortion when he is holding our jobs hostage for this shutdown", said Raekwon Snyder, a government contractor for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his girlfriend and their 8-month-old son. Many are on the job but must wait until after the shutdown to be paid again. "It creates a real crisis for them to even have their pay shut off for short period of time", he says.

One union representing federal workers slammed Trump's claim. "But other than that I wish everyone a very merry Christmas".

  • Joey Payne