USA government shutdown hits record length with no end seen

Donald Trump

After meeting with Trump on Friday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said it was clear to him and the president that "Democrats don't want to make a deal and will never support border wall/barriers".

Today, the shutdown will become the longest in US history. Another Republican, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Trump is "willing to meet in the middle" to end a partial U.S. government shutdown, now at a record 23rd day. "If we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off".

Meanwhile, President Trump has calmed speculation that he is about to declare a national emergency in order to bypass Congress and get the money he needs. Such a step would allow Trump to bypass Congress and tap various pots of unspent federal money, including for military construction and disaster relief and from asset seized by law enforcement, to pay for the wall. The California Democrat opposes spending money on what she calls an "ineffective, wasteful wall" along the US southern border. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back. He has said several times since he first mentioned the idea in public earlier this month that he prefers to try to reach a deal with Congress.

During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged that Mexico would pay for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. "They are having fun and not even talking!", Mr Trump said on Sunday via Twitter.

The speaker's office had no immediate comment. On Friday, though, he said he wasn't rushing to use that option - which would be challenged in court and, if not overturned, establish a precedent expanding the power of future presidents who could include Democrats. Many Republicans are wary, too.

The paper reported law enforcement officials became concerned after Mr Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in May 2017 and said the agency had to consider whether the president's actions constituted a possible threat to national security.

It hinges on Mr Trump's demand that government funding include $5.7 billion of taxpayer money for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, a key campaign promise.

Many lawmakers spent the weekend in their home states - often hearing constituents' complaints about the shutdown - but will return to Washington on Monday.

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The government shutdown, now the longest ever, dragged into its 23rd day on Sunday, as Trump insisted on $5.7 billion to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats oppose.

Trump has said that while he wants a broader immigration deal, he first wants to hear what the Supreme Court has to say about the group known as "Dreamers".

Pelosi also has shown no interest in accepting a wall - she has called it an "immorality" - in exchange for the suggested immigration fixes.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told the West Block's Mercedes Stephenson that the three-week shutdown is a grudge match symbolizing the bigger ideological fight between Republicans and Democrats, but warned the country will face serious economic harm if it doesn't end soon. Most came through our Southern Border. "The easiest solution to the shutdown, just give President Trump the money", he said.

The White House has been laying the groundwork for an emergency declaration, feared by members of both parties. "We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their "vacations" and get back to work".

"I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly", he told Fox in an interview late Saturday.

"I don't know where it's going but I can tell you this", he said.

"It's the last option, not the first option, but we're pretty close to that being the only option", he said.

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