Wednesday 23 January 2019

Partial shutdown of US government now longest ever

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump

The partial shutdown of the US government has entered its 22nd day - becoming the longest closure in the country's history.

The milestone was passed as the clock ticked past midnight into Saturday in Washington DC.

Meanwhile president Donald Trump and nervous Republicans have been scrambling to find a way out of the deadlock, which left federal workers without pay on Friday.

Earlier the House and Senate voted to give federal workers back pay when the government reopens, although the chambers are not sitting over the weekend.

Mr Trump is said to have privately considered declaring a national emergency to build a wall between the US and Mexico without a new stream of cash from Congress.

However members of his own party have been fiercely debating that idea, and the president has urged Congress to come up with another solution.

"What we're not looking to do right now is national emergency," Mr Trump said.

He insisted that he had the authority to do that, adding that he is "not going to do it so fast" because he would still prefer to work a deal with Congress.

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