Children may be opening the windows in their Advent calendar and counting down the days until Christmas but in Washington, D.C. an entirely different countdown is underway: the countdown to the shutdown.

After an explosive televised meeting at the White House with President Trump, Vice President Pence, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, both sides are bracing for a government shutdown at midnight on Friday. During that meeting, Trump declared, “I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

Trump, in his usual posture, sent his most hardline advisor on immigration, Stephen Miller, as his surrogate on the Sunday morning political shows to double down on his insistence of $5 billion to build a border wall.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s shutdown theatrics are making Republicans in both the House and Senate very nervous, especially when he has explicitly let Democrats off the hook a potential shutdown.

“No Senate Republican wants to see a shutdown,” said Sen. John Thune, the incoming Republican whip. “Discussions are preliminary and premature, but there’s — obviously, we have no intention of having a government shutdown.”

Trump is standing firm while GOP Senators are in the dark about his plans. Confusion seems to be reigning supreme on Capitol Hill. Some are planning for a long-term shutdown and it appears neither side is backing down.

Better squeeze in your holiday trip to a national park early!

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