Government shutdown breaks record, with no end in sight

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has been critical of President Donald Trump's response to disasters in Puerto Rico

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has been critical of President Donald Trump's response to disasters in Puerto Rico

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.

It's a different accommodation from just a few years ago. They complained about Obama as "king", "emperor" or "tyrant".

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.

"Does the president have the right and the ability to do it? Yes".

"Most conservatives want it to be the last resort he would use", Meadows said.

Philip Rucker, the White House bureau chief at the Washington Post, went on to say that Trump's latest tweets about the shutdown appeared to be in response to Rucker's appearance on NBC's Today Saturday morning. "Whatever you want to call it, it's OK with me".

The partial shutdown of the government became the longest on record at midnight Friday (0500 GMT Saturday), when it overtook the 21-day stretch in 1995-1996, under then president Bill Clinton.

A predictable partisan divide shapes the blame game, with 85 per cent of Democrats citing Mr Trump and Republicans as the cause and 68 per cent of Republicans pointing the finger at congressional Democrats.

About a quarter of the federal government will go without funding until a budget is agreed, leaving 800,000 employees without pay.

Presidential elections in the United States 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. But Mexico has refused forcing Trump to ask Congress for the money instead.

The Washington Post, which tracks and tallies "false or misleading" claims by the president, reported that as of 10 January 2019, Trump has said Mexico would pay for a border wall 212 times during the campaign and since taking office. "Build a wall now", he said. "I am in the White House waiting for you!" he tweeted.

But the president himself acknowledged in the White House meeting that an attempt to claim emergency powers would likely end up in legal battles going all the way to the Supreme Court - as other Republicans and some of his advisers have reportedly cautioned him. In December, the president announced that both his Chief of Staff John Kelly as well as U.S. Eighteen percent say they have been inconvenienced, including 7 percent who say it has been a major problem.

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".

But what cuts to the core of the concern on Capitol Hill is the executive branch wading into legislative domain to shift money Congress has already approved to the wall. By a vote of 411-7, the House passed a bill requiring that all government workers receive retroactive pay after the partial shutdown ends.

"They can hold oversight hearings if they're so inclined, but in order to actually stop the emergency they would need to have a veto-proof majority in both houses", Boyle said.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, part of the GOP leadership, said at a forum Friday in Austin that the lawmakers "worked very hard to make sure that the victims of Hurricane Harvey - their concerns are addressed and Texas is able to rebuild". "I'm kind of just sitting and staring at the wall and trying not to lose my mind", she said.

Trump is growing more frustrated as the shutdown drags on and is complaining that his aides are not offering him an exit strategy.

Miami International Airport said it will close one of its terminals early over the next several days due to a possible shortage of security screeners, who have been calling in sick at twice the normal rate.

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