A partial US government shutdown started coming into effect on Saturday following the US lawmakers’ failure to break a budget impasse.
US President Donald Trump, who has to sign off on any deal, is insisting at least $5bn (£4bn) be included for his long-promised wall along the Mexican border. In the absence of a deal, funding for about a quarter of US federal agencies lapsed at midnight (05:00GMT Saturday), BBC reported.
It is the third time US federal funding has lapsed so far this year, although the other two were brief.
Nine of the 15 federal departments, including State, Homeland Security, Transportation, Agriculture and Justice are partially shutting down.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will have to work unpaid or are furloughed, a kind of temporary leave.
Both the House and Senate were set to be back in session at noon on Saturday (17:00GMT) to try to resolve the issue.
On Wednesday, a bilateral deal appeared to have been agreed in the Senate to keep federal agencies open until 8 February. But the agreement did not include funding for Trump’s wall.
Trump insisted that funds for the wall must be included for him to sign the budget off.
The Republican-controlled House then passed a bill on Thursday approving $5.7bn (£4.5bn) of funding for the wall.
Trump is well aware the Democrats are taking control of the House in January and wall funding will then be opposed.
Trump seems similarly intractable.
In a video address published on his Twitter account shortly before the shutdown began, he said “there is nothing” his Republican party can do about the shutdown and said “we need the Democrats to give us their votes” to resolve it.
In a tweet on Saturday he said negotiations with the Democrats could be “a long stay”.
The two houses have promised to talk through the weekend to try to resolve the issue.