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US govt shuts down: In holiday season, 8 lakh without pay

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Washington, Dec 22: The US government, early Saturday began a Christmas time shut down after Congress adjourned without passing a federal spending bill or addressing President Donald Trump's demand for money to build a border wall.

US govt shuts down: In holiday season, 8 lakh without pay

Operations for several key agencies ceased at 12:01 am Saturday (5:01 GMT), despite last-ditch talks that continued on Capitol Hill between White House officials and congressional leaders in both parties, AFP reported.

While there is no confirmation on how long the shutdown would last, Trump said that it would not last too long.

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As many as 800,000 federal employees will be either furloughed or forced to work without pay in the run-up to the Christmas holiday. But the prospect of a large portion of government workers going without pay checks was not enough to spur lawmakers or the president to action.

The House of Representatives adjourned just before 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) Friday, with no moves taken to avert a shutdown, and the Senate closed up shop an hour later.

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