Senators prepare for possibility of Christmas in Washington during a shutdown

Democratic and Republican senators told Hill.TV on Wednesday that they are prepared to spend Christmas break in Washington if there’s a partial government shutdown.

“I've told my wife not to plan on my being home during Christmas and New Year's,” said Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Biden faces scrutiny for his age from other Democrats Democrats press FBI for details on Kavanaugh investigation MORE (D-Del.), adding that he thinks there’s “zero chance” the Senate would be in session on Christmas day.

But he said there’s a 50-50 chance of working the final week of the year.

“It depends on who blinks,” he said, referring to a standoff between President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE and congressional leaders like Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSaagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? Johnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE (Calif.) over funding for a border wall.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas) seemed less certain about the prospects of working on Christmas.

"I certainly hope not, but the honest answer is I don't know,” he said. “It's going to come down to the president, it's going to come down to Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSaagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? Johnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' MORE. Either one can single-handedly force a shutdown.”

He referred to Tuesday’s Oval Office “fireworks” between Democratic leaders and Trump as "must-see TV.”

During the televised portion of the meeting, Trump promised to partially shutter the government if Congress fails to approve $5 billion in funding for a border wall

The deadline to prevent about 25 percent of the government from closing is Dec. 21.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyIn-space refueling vs heavy lift? NASA and SpaceX choose both Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (R-Ala.) said negotiators are at “an impasse.”

“We are so close but we're far away too,” he said.

When asked if Trump was on the right course in promising a shutdown over border wall funding, Shelby said, "That's not my course. I don't want to shut the government down. I want to do everything I can to avoid it.”

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE (R-S.C.), who applauded the president’s tough stance with Democratic leaders, said he is so “energized” by the debate over the border because Democrats supported similar wall funding under previous administrations.

“In 2013, we had a $42 billion appropriation -- $8 billion of it was for fencing and wall,” he said. “Top say that you can't spend $5 or $10 billion probably more than that on fencing and wall is not realistic.”

“What's got me so energized here is that we've done in the past more than what the president’s asking for -- he's not the bad guy here,” said Graham, who’s a member of the Appropriations Committee.

Democrats like Coons and Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility USDA eases relocation timeline as researchers flee agency Fed to launch real-time payments system in 2023 MORE (Md.) pushed back on Graham’s argument, saying Trump promised that the wall wouldn’t cost U.S. taxpayers any money.

“It’s worth reminding people that the president said Mexico was going to pay for it. We wouldn't be in this situation if he had made good on that campaign promise,” Van Hollen said. “Everyone is in favor of border security -- we need strong and secure borders. This is about smart use of taxpayer dollars."

The standoff over funding is bigger than a border wall and neither side is bluffing, GOP Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.) told reporters.

Kennedy called Trump’s promise of a shutdown "as serious as four heart attacks and a stroke.”

"I don't think Mrs. Pelosi is going to give an inch because she's worried about retaining or getting again her Speakership,” Kennedy said. “If I've learned anything here it's that the thing that most people care about the most is their job.”

Kennedy also said he’s ready to spend Christmas at work, if need be.

"I've got a microwave and I'm going to use it to heat up the turkey because I think I'm going to be here,” he said.

 —Molly K. Hooper