President Donald Trump speaks about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A top White House official signaled Sunday that President Donald Trump is willing to accept less money than he’s been demanding to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, but a senior congressional Democrat said that, while their own offer could be sweetened, they still will not agree to a wall.

The back and forth across the television airwaves did little to inspire hope that a Christmas season closure of some federal government operations would end later this week, when the House and Senate are scheduled to meet again.

In fact, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney warned that the shutdown could stretch into January, when a new Congress is seated.

Mulvaney, who also runs the White House budget office, said he’s awaiting a response from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York after the administration on Saturday presented Schumer with a counteroffer in the long-running dispute over funding the wall.Mulvaney withheld specifics but placed the offer at between Trump’s $5.7 billion request and $1.3 billion Democrats are offering.

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