United States partial government shutdown becomes longest on record

United States partial government shutdown becomes longest on record

United States partial government shutdown becomes longest on record

President Donald Trump said he was holding off on declaring a state of emergency to end the partial U.S. government shutdown that dragged into a 23rd day on Sunday (Jan 13), as he insisted on US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats oppose.

President Donald Trump says he's at the White House waiting for Democrats to return to Washington and help end the shutdown.

He was one of 19 law enforcers, faith leaders and elected officials invited to a White House meeting Friday to discuss border security with President Donald Trump, who took the opportunity to attack Democratic refusal to fund a wall.

With both the Senate and the House adjourned until Monday and a new spending bill nowhere in sight, Trump doubled down on his claim that there's one clear solution to the shutdown: for the new Democratic House of Representatives to give in to his demands to provide funding for his proposed southern border wall. Many Republicans are wary, too.

Using the trappings of the White House to make a point is a standard procedure. Trump said Friday that he planned to sign a bill guaranteeing that federal employees will be given back pay once the government reopens. Trump said Sunday on Twitter.

He forecasts a long shutdown unless Democrats "come back from their "vacations"..."

The South Carolina Republican added in the interview that he spoke with the president shortly before his television appearance and told him he would support an emergency declaration. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in new border security funding, but none specifically for a wall. No new talks are scheduled, and about 800,000 federal employees went without paychecks Friday.

"The damage done to our Country from a badly broken Border - Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad - is far greater than a Shutdown, which the Dems can easily fix as soon as they come back to Washington!". Invoking the power would allow him to tap unspent Defence funds to build the long-promised wall along the border that was central to his presidential campaign.

Some US media reports suggested the White House was considering diverting some of the $US13.9 billion allocated a year ago by Congress for disaster relief in such areas as Puerto Rico, Texas and California to pay for the wall.

Trump indicated he was slowing what had appeared to be momentum toward the national emergency declaration as the way out of the stalemate.

But there was another election, in November, and the effect of that is that Democrats now control the House and they refuse to give Trump money for a wall. He said he was giving Congress a chance to "act responsibly". "I'm not going to blame you for it". House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., last week decrying the "soap opera that the president's petulance and obstinance is creating".

Speaking in the White House Cabinet room, Trump said it would be easy for him just to declare a national emergency and find federal money to build a barrier along the southern border, but he's not going to be so quick to do that because he thinks lawmakers can do it. But the GOP-controlled Senate has refused to consider the measures unless Trump agrees to sign them.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for airport security screening, said its rate of unscheduled absences rose to 5.6 percent on Saturday from 3.3 percent a year ago but that security standards have not been compromised.

With polls showing Trump getting most of the blame for the shutdown, the administration accelerated planning for a possible emergency declaration to try to get around Congress and fund the wall from existing sources of federal revenue. That ended when congressional Republicans agreed to a short-term funding bill for closed agencies that was later extended.

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