No emergency declaration to end USA govt shutdown, says President Donald Trump

13 January, 2019, 16:39 | Author: Carlos George
  • Supporters of President Donald Trump react to protesters during Trump's Texas visit

President Donald Trump said yesterday he would not declare a national emergency "right now" to end a standoff over border security that has idled large swaths of the USA government, all but guaranteeing that he will preside over the longest shutdown in US history.

The impasse has paralysed Washington, with the president retaliating by refusing to sign off on budgets for swaths of government departments unrelated to the dispute.

The House and Senate voted to give federal workers back pay whenever the federal government reopens and then left town for the weekend, leaving the shutdown on track to become one for the record books once the clock struck midnight and the closure entered its 22nd day.

A sign that reads "Federal employees all day happy hour" is displayed at a local bar as the partial US government shutdown enters its third week in Washington, US.

On Friday, however, Trump backed off a series of previous threats to end the deadlock by declaring a national emergency and attempting to secure the funds without congressional approval. Whatever you want to call it, it's OK with me.

Amid the unending shutdown, the President has started increasingly talking about the possibility of declaring a national emergency in an effort to circumvent Congress to obtain the funding he wants for a border wall - a move that would be expected to face legal challenge and forceful pushback from Democratic lawmakers.

"If they can't do it".

Pressed by Pirro to go ahead and declare and emergency, Trump said: 'Well, that might happen. This, as polls suggest Trump is getting most of the blame for the shutdown.

Some posted photos of their empty earnings statements on social media as a rallying cry to end the shutdown, a jarring image that many in the White House feared could turn more voters against the president as he holds out for billions in new wall funding.

A national emergency would allow Trump to divert money from other projects to pay for the wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 campaign.

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For the president, who visited the Texas border with Mexico on Thursday, the border situation amounts to an invasion by criminals.

"We know that roughly, almost 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News, "and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border".

Some studies show that illegal immigrants generally commit fewer crimes than people born in the United States, although not everyone agrees on this. And most narcotics are smuggled through heavily guarded checkpoints in vehicles, the government's Drug Enforcement Administration said in a 2017 report. "We're doing our best to make sure it doesn't impact our diplomacy", he said.

The longest federal government shutdown in American history ground into a fourth week Saturday, Jan. 12, with President Donald Trump showing fresh defiance on Twitter, congressional Democrats firmly resolved to resist his calls for a border wall, and unpaid workers caught in the middle.

However, on Friday he said he would not declare an emergency for now, preferring Congress to act.

Separately, Puerto Rico's governor urged Trump to not redirect emergency funds destined to the island instead for the border wall.

President Trump is manning the White House solo, he tweeted Saturday, posting that "there's nearly nobody in the W.H. but me" as he attacked reports that he lacks a strategy for ending the shutdown.

That option triggered an outcry from officials in Puerto Rico and some states recovering from natural disasters, and appeared to lose steam on Friday.

"Today it's us, tomorrow it could be you", he wrote.

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