Make no mistake -- this is a GOP shutdown

13 January, 2019, 13:09 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Supporters of President Donald Trump react to protesters during Trump's Texas visit

The U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding became the longest in the modern era as it stretched into its 22nd day Saturday with no end in sight.

Trump has been counseled by outside advisers to move toward declaring a national emergency for the "crisis" that he says exists at the southern border.

Ben Cardin of Maryland to guarantee back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown.

Concerning the allocation of blame, 53 per cent say Mr Trump and the Republicans are mainly at fault, and 29 per cent blame the Democrats in Congress.

Menendez concluded his letter by posing six questions to the Trump administration about whether they still stood by their September report and, if not, whether they had taken the necessary measures to update America's security.

It signalled a shift in his stance from a day earlier when he had said he was not ready to do it "right now". "But we need money for that barrier", Trump said.

Other possibilities included tapping asset forfeiture funds, including money seized by the Department of Justice from drug kingpins, according to a congressional Republican not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. "They can name it whatever they want, they can name it 'peaches.' I don't care what they name it". But the Mexican government has refused and Trump is now demanding that Congress provide funding. "They're the ones that are holding it up", he said during a telephone interview with Fox News on Saturday night.

"Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes!" he said in one tweet, adding in another, "We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their "vacations" and get back to work".

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However, on Friday he said he would not declare an emergency for now, preferring Congress to act.

"It seems the president was watching @PeterAlexander, @kwelkernbc and me talk on @TODAYshow this morning about the lack of a strategy in the White House to end what is now the longest government shutdown in US history", he tweeted.

The White House has suggested building the wall with steel rather than concrete as a key concession.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a statement that it was "time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier".

The investigation became a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump election campaign.

Presidential elections in the U.S. are due in 2020, and building the wall was one of his key campaign promises, so it's very likely that Trump is feeling under pressure to get it started. You don't declare a national emergency and make taxpayers pay for the horse. "Yes", Meadows told reporters this week. Supporters have tried to convince him that an emergency declaration is the best option to end the shutdown and would give him political cover to reopen the government without appearing to be caving on his pledge.

Some of Trump's fellow Republicans are warning against a disaster declaration, saying it would undercut Congress's power under the U.S. Constitution to control government spending - and make it easier for a future Democratic president to bypass Capitol Hill. It would allow him to tap unspent Defense dollars to pay for construction.

In the Democrats' weekly address, Representative Scott Peters, who represents a district in San Diego County, California, outlined border security measures such as radar and surveillance via drones, and said "let's re-open the government and talk about these ideas". 'But those same conservatives, I'm sure if it's deployed, would embrace him as having done all he could do to negotiate with Democrats'.


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