United States government shutdown becomes longest in history

Union members and Internal Revenue Service workers rally outside an IRS Service Center to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Covington Kentucky

President Donald Trump on Friday called the situation at the USA southern border "an invasion", but he indicated that he would not be declaring a national emergency that could give him the legal authority to begin building his long-promised wall.

Trump previously threatened to declare a national emergency in order to sidestep Congress for border wall funding.

About 800,000 workers missed paychecks Friday, many receiving blank pay statements. The White House has contended that Democrats are refusing to negotiate, while Democrats accuse Trump of forcing government workers to go unpaid as leverage to get $5.7 billion for a wall that voters don't want.

Trump reiterated his argument that crime, illegal drugs, and human trafficking are creating a national security and humanitarian crisis at the border, and that a wall is needed.

"I have the absolute right to do it".

Trump indicated he was slowing what had appeared to be momentum toward the national emergency declaration as the way out of the stalemate.

"They hate President Trump more than they want to fix problems, even problems they acknowledged to be real and serious in the past".

As the shutdown drags on, President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats have not made progress toward any kind of agreement that would put an end to it. "They're the ones that are holding it up", he said during a telephone interview with Fox News on Saturday night.

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Both Pelosi and Schumer have since repeated the phrase "Trump Shutdown", but it's not actually the most accurate description of what's going on.

The constitution provides the Congress, not the White House, the power of the purse, and lawmakers are not eager to cede their role to the president, even for a wall many Republicans support.

Fight for the Future swiftly circulated a petition following Pelosi's speech, calling on Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Schuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) not to replace Trump's proposed wall - which critics say wouldfurther endanger migrant familiescoming to the U.S. - with a surveillance system that would threaten their right to be protected from unlawful search and seizure.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted out that there was practically no one in the White House but him as the shutdown lingers on. 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.

In December, he tweeted that migrant caravans from Central America were not able to enter the country thanks to "our newly built Walls, makeshift Walls & Fences, or Border Patrol Officers & Military", adding that "our Southern Border is now secure and will remain that way". 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.

Nonetheless, Trump insisted he had the right to declare an emergency if he chose to, and continued to insist there was a crisis at the border. "Yes", Meadows told reporters this week. "I think we're talking days, not weeks", the chairman and founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said.

First, it would allow him to claim that he was the one to act to reopen the government. It would allow him to tap unspent Defense dollars to pay for construction. While it might end the standoff over funding and allow Congress to move onto other priorities, some Republicans believe such a declaration would usurp congressional power and could lead future Democratic presidents to make similar moves to advance liberal priorities.

Opponents say that a unilateral move by the president over the sensitive border issue would be constitutional overreach and set a risky precedent in similar controversies.

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