The budget director of the White House, Mick Mulvaney, considered today "very possible" that the current partial administrative closure will last until January 2019 when the Democratic opposition regains control of the House of Representatives.
"It is very possible that this closure will go beyond 28 and reach the new Congress," Mulvaney said today in an interview with Fox.
The administrative paralysis began midnight Friday through Saturday due to a disagreement over the funds for the wall with Mexico and, possibly, will last until at least Thursday, December 27, when the Senate will meet again to discuss the budget.
Mulvaney was pessimistic and said that "things are not going to move very fast during the next two days", so that the new Congress could be responsible for approving a budget that serves to finance and reopen the Government.
On January 3, 2019, the legislators that were elected in the last elections of November will take possession of their seats and the two chambers will be inaugurated: the Senate, which remains in republican hands, and the House of Representatives, which passes into democrat.
Mulvaney, who on January 1 will become the new chief of staff of US President Donald Trump, has been very involved in the negotiations on the budget and, this same Saturday, he met with the leader of the minority Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.
In that meeting, Mulvaney and the US Vice President, Mike Pence, made a "counteroffer" to Schumer, who was asked again to include in the budget a game to build the wall with Mexico, one of the main electoral promises of Trump.
"They were at 1.3 billion dollars yesterday, we were at 5,000 a couple of days ago, the counteroffer we did yesterday was among those numbers," Mulvaney said.
Democrats and Republicans this week came to a pact to finance the government until February 8 and include a $ 1.3 billion line for border security, though not specifically for the wall.
Trump, who has the responsibility of signing the budget, rejected that bipartisan proposal and insisted that he wanted $ 5 billion for the border barrier.
Obeying the petitions of the president, the House of Representatives approved a law with those funds for the wall, but that proposal was stalled in the Senate, causing the closure.
This is the third closure Trump faces since he came to power in early 2017. The first came in January of this year, coinciding with his first anniversary in the White House, and lasted for three days; while the second was in February and lasted only a few hours.