2018 federal government shutdown

Updated Jan. 10 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The U.S. government has been operating under a partial shutdown since Dec. 22. The shutdown, driven by a political battle over President Trump's demand that Congress approve funds for a wall along the border with Mexico, is touching the lives of Americans in myriad ways.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

A major credit rating agency is warning that it will reconsider the nation's AAA rating if the partial U.S. government shutdown continues into March and raises doubts about the ability of Congress to lift the debt ceiling.

A downgrade of the nation's pristine credit rating could lead to higher borrowing costs for the U.S. Treasury, companies and consumers.

President Trump delivered the first Oval Office address of his presidency Tuesday night — and it came in the midst of a protracted partial government shutdown.

There were a lot of questions going into the address, but there were at least as many afterward — especially, and most importantly: What now?

So what did we learn from the president's address and the rare Democratic response? Here are seven insights:

A listener wrote: "What ethical calculus has been used to decide that NPR will broadcast POTUS live?"

He was referring to President Trump's Oval Office address tonight, his first from that venue. It is expected to be on the topic of immigration and his demand, as part of the negotiations to end the partial government shutdown, for funding for some kind of barrier on the southwest border.

President Trump has suggested that he might resort to using "emergency" powers to build his border wall if he is not able to reach agreement on funding with congressional Democrats.

"We are looking at it very strongly," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "We're looking at a national emergency, because we have a national emergency."

The president does have broad powers to act in a crisis situation, but those powers are not unlimited. And critics say Trump should be careful about invoking them in this instance.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The White House is planning a media blitz as President Trump pushes for a wall along the Southern border, which congressional Democrats have repeatedly rebuffed. This week's events involving the president come as a partial shutdown of the federal government drags into its third week with no apparent end in sight to the impasse.

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Updated at 7:27 p.m. ET

A closed-door briefing for congressional leaders in the White House Situation Room on Wednesday failed to resolve any issues between Democrats and the Trump administration over funding for border security.

The stalemate has led to a partial government shutdown, now nearing the two-week mark.

"I don't think any particular progress was made," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters afterward.

Updated at 9:25 a.m. ET

As the federal government enters the second full week of its partial shutdown, federal workers aren't the only ones affected.

Presents were exchanged, carols were sung, and the political news cycle kept on churning over the Christmas holiday.

The time surrounding Christmas and New Year's Day saw the partial government shutdown begin, the stock market take a tumble (then recover), and President Trump make a secret holiday visit to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

As 2019 begins, here's a look at what you may have missed over the holidays.

Saturday, Dec. 22

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