22 days and counting: Government shutdown is now longest in USA history

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2019

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

Trump also blasted Democrats for attending a winter retreat in Puerto Rico, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers attended the opening night of Hamilton with creator and original star Lin-Manuel Miranda back in the lead.

Over 400,000 federal employees are expected to work throughout the shutdown despite missing paychecks, including the workers who are tasked with protecting the southern border like border patrol agents, Customs and Border Protection officers and Coast Guard crews.

"They think, 'Gee, we can hurt Trump, '" he said. "I would nearly say definitely".

Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday that he would "see what happens over the next few days" but would "likely" invoke emergency powers if he doesn't reach a deal with Democrats.

One close Trump ally, Republican Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, said Friday that he believed Trump was getting closer to declaring an emergency.

"You know, I've always found my alone time to be some of my most productive", Cupp suggested.

The impasse has paralyzed Washington - its impact felt increasingly around the country - with the president refusing to sign off on budgets for swaths of government departments unrelated to the dispute.

On his way to the Texas border Thursday, Trump was presented with 13 Army Corps of Engineers projects for which Congress has allocated money, but which have not yet been put under contract, according to Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove).

The Transportation Security Administration, 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.

Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, acknowledged the dilemma, especially as the shutdown continues with no end in sight.

He said that the ball was in the court of his political opponents, warning that "we will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their "vacations" and get back to work". This hasn't stopped the White House from devising a way to get the wall built if and when Trump presses the national emergency button. 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.

As a result, the House bills faced a White House veto threat and stand no chance of being taken up in the Senate since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said he will not hold votes on legislation related to the shutdown that the President will not sign.

The investigation became a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump election campaign. I will declare a national emergency. "This is a big diversion, and he's a master of diversion".

First, it would allow him to claim that he was the one to act to reopen the government.

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. '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'.

Opponents say that a unilateral presidential move would be constitutional overreach and set a risky precedent in similar controversies.

Other reports by iNewsToday