US Government shutdown breaks record, with no end in sight

President Donald Trump speaks to the media en route for a trip to the border in Texas as the government shutdown continues

Jacquelyn Martin President Donald Trump speaks to the media en route for a trip to the border in Texas as the government shutdown continues

"Replacing more visible rights harms with - potentially - less visible ones is not a good answer", St. Vincent said. And while Trump privately considered one dramatic escape route - declaring a national emergency to build the wall without a new stream of cash from Congress - members of his own party were fiercely debating that idea, and the president urged Congress to come up with another solution.

Vice President Mike Pence said Trump will sign legislation passed in Congress that will provide back pay to federal workers once the government reopens.

A national emergency would allow Trump to divert money from other projects to pay for the wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 campaign. "The Democrats are forcing him into a choice of doing the national emergency because they won't sit down and discuss it".

Today, 42 per cent say they support a wall, up from 34 per cent in January previous year.

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.

'We need a wall, very simple.

For Trump, who visited the Texas border with Mexico on Thursday, the border situation amounts to an invasion by criminals that can only be solved by more walls.

"We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their "vacations" and get back to work".

'They're not acting, and they're the ones that are holding it up.

Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, presidents do have the authority to declare crises and act on them, but they have to justify their reasoning with existing statutes Congress has already approved.

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He tweeted: "I am in the White House waiting for Cryin' Chuck and Nancy to call so we can start helping our Country both at the Border and from within".

The House and Senate adjourned for the weekend, with lawmakers scattering to their states and districts before snow blankets the nation's capital.

It seems like Donald Trump is rather fond of ringing in the new year with a government shutdown, as this is now the second in two consecutive Januaries of his presidency. Democrats oppose that step but may be unable to stop it.

Overall, Democrats appear somewhat more conciliatory than Republicans.

But Republicans who control the Senate have so far stood with Trump and insisted that any spending bills include money for his wall.

Those funds potentially could be tapped for building a border barrier if Trump declares a national emergency, which he said Thursday he is strongly inclined to do. This, as polls suggest President Trump is getting most of the blame for the shutdown.

In place of an olive branch to the Democrats, Trump has offered insults and accusations, and on Wednesday stormed out of a meeting with congressional leaders that he called at the White House. The White House also was eyeing military construction funds, another politically hard choice because the money would be diverted from a backlog of hundreds of projects at bases around the nation. Jared Kushner was among those opposed to the declaration, arguing to his father-in-law that pursuing a broader immigration deal was a better option. A person familiar with White House thinking said that in meetings this week, the message was that the administration is in no rush and wants to consider various options. That's according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the request.

The investigation became a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump election campaign. 'This is a big diversion, and he's a master of diversion, ' she told reporters.

"What we're not looking to do right now is national emergency", Trump said. Trump has made similar complaints regarding Puerto Rico, claiming in September that the Hurricane Maria death toll released by the Puerto Rican government was part of a Democratic conspiracy to make him look bad. That is identical to the end of the 16-day shutdown in 2013, when 29 per cent blamed then-president Barack Obama and 53 per cent put the responsibility on congressional Republicans.

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