A partial government shutdown would affect more than 800,000 federal employees across dozens of agencies.
The U.S. Postal Service will remain open and Social Security checks will continue coming. All non-essential employees other than the FBI,Border Patrol, Coast Guard and TSA would be furloughed.
“They're going to have to be there if they're declared essential government workers, they just won't get paid, so that's going to be a merry Christmas for a lot of folks expecting paychecks to pay for gifts and such,” says ABC News Radio correspondent Andy Field.
Other possible furloughs include NASA, the IRS, HUD and Parks Service.
“They're basically getting a paid vacation, just not getting the money upfront, and U.S. taxpayers are going to waste all that money paying for services they're not getting,” says Field.
He says all of this could have been diverted with an amnesty deal earlier this year.
“The Democrats walked into Trump's office and said, 'Here's $25 billion for your wall Mr. President, you have to cave on protecting the Dreamers and reforming immigration,' but the president said not good enough and threw them out of his office.”