Trump's shutdown becomes longest in United States history

Hugh Fox
January 14, 2019

President Donald Trump addressed the nation in prime time Tuesday night, making his case for building a $5.6 billion border wall to prevent illegal immigrants and drugs from coming into the country and to help solve what he said has become a national crisis.

The dispute has disrupted everything from air travel to tax collection and suspended pay for 800,000 government workers.

"This is where I ask the Democrats to come back to Washington and to vote for money for the wall, the barrier, whatever you wanna call it, it's OK with me", Trump said during a White House roundtable on immigration.

"The easy solution is for me to call a national emergency".

According to a report in Politico, Donald Trump's closest advisers in the White House are completely in the dark as to how the president will end the shutdown. "I'm still hoping we'll have a breakthrough, but right now I don't see one".

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Trump spoke after lawmakers had left town for the weekend, precluding any possible action until next week.

Trump visited the border Thursday as a partial shutdown of the federal government, which stems from a dispute between the White House and Congress over border wall funding, stretched into its 21st day.

Trump also said he has "no idea" whether he can get a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who opposes spending money on an "ineffective, wasteful wall".

Trump is considering invoking a national emergency to build the wall.

That skepticism about the effectiveness of border walls stands in stark contrast to comments current NBPC president Brandon Judd made during a press conference at the White House earlier this month.

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But the suggestion to use emergency powers ruffled the feathers of conservative members of Congress who frequently criticized Barack Obama for what they considered an overreach of executive powers and raised concerns among lawmakers who expect to serve under a Democratic president again eventually.

Meanwhile, the impact of the shutdown began to mount.

It appears that it would have been cheaper to cave in to the U.S. leader's demands for border security at once, as the national economy's losses already amount to more than 60 percent of the debated sum and will also exceed it soon, the analysis by Standard & Poor's Global Ratings shows. It is at least the third lawsuit filed by unions on behalf of unpaid workers. How are we going to pay out bills?

The head of the US Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, warned employees that financial stress can lead to depression and anxiety. Some want the government to stay closed until the funds for the wall are approved, citing national security being too important of an issue to compromise funds on. "With this lawsuit we're saying, 'No, you can't pay workers with I.O.U.s".

Separately, Senator Rob Portman and eight other Republican senators introduced legislation that would permanently outlaw the closing of government operations during budget fights, underscoring the growing frustration in Washington.

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On the campaign trail, the president often said at rallies that Mexico would pay for the wall. But the Mexican government has refused and Trump is now demanding that Congress provide funding.

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