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US government shutdown looms as talks fail to break deadlock

THE spectre of another US government shutdown was raised again today after bipartisan US congressional talks over border security hit an impasse.

The 17 Republican and Democratic negotiators from the Senate and the House had hoped to reach an agreement yesterday to give Congress time to pass legislation by Friday, when the federal funding agreement runs out.

However they failed to strike a deal over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding of a wall on the Mexican border and remained divided over the detention of undocumented migrants.

It raises the prospect of another federal government shutdown this Friday. The last shutdown was the longest in US history lasting 35 days and saw at least 800,000 federal workers without pay during December and January. It is believed to have cost the US economy an estimated $11 billion (£8.5bn).

Republican negotiator Senator Richard Shelby said: “I'll say 50-50 we get a deal … The spectre of a shutdown is always out there.”

Mr Trump agreed a three-week spending deal on January 25 to allow Congress to reach an agreement, however funding will run out at midnight on Friday.

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