Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

USA shutdown bites as federal workers miss payday

USA shutdown bites as federal workers miss payday

As Donald Trump's partial government shutdown over border wall funding becomes the longest in US history, tens of thousands of border security employees continue to work without pay.

But if he follows through on a threat to declare a national emergency in order to build a border wall, experts say he's going to have to rely on facts and legal arguments - and the evidence is not on his side. "Now if we don't make a deal with Congress most likely I will do that", the president said of declaring a national emergency, which would in theory allow him to direct the military to build the wall.

Ben Cardin of Maryland to guarantee back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown.

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. "I would nearly say definitely". "The Democrats are forcing him into a choice of doing the national emergency because they won't sit down and discuss it".

But Republicans who control the Senate have so far stood with Trump and insisted that any spending bills include money for his wall. "They can name it whatever they want, they can name it 'peaches.' I don't care what they name it".

With polls showing Trump getting most of the blame for the shutdown, the administration accelerated planning for a possible emergency declaration to try to get around Congress and fund the wall from existing sources of federal revenue. "They're the ones that are holding it up", he said during a telephone interview with Fox News on Saturday night.

"I have never been more depressed about moving forward", Graham, a South Carolina Republican and close Trump ally, declared after talks over a broader deal collapsed.

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The Transportation Security Administration, responsible for airport security screening, said its rate of unscheduled absences rose to 5.6 percent on Saturday from 3.3 percent a year ago but that security standards have not been compromised.

"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".

NBC News reported on Thursday that Mr Trump had been briefed on such a plan but the White House denied it. 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.

Support for building a wall on the border, which is the principal sticking point in the stalemate between the President and Democrats, has increased over the past year.

The investigation became a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump election campaign.

"The president thinks that he can do whatever he wants by declaring something a national emergency", said Sen. 'This is a big diversion, and he's a master of diversion, ' she told reporters. Supporters have tried to convince him that an emergency declaration is the best option to end the shutdown and would give him political cover to reopen the government without appearing to be caving on his pledge. Then Republicans often called out Obama as overstepping his authority in using executive actions when Congress failed to act on White House priorities.

"Most of them are living from paycheck to paycheck and now they approach this day on Friday having moved from paycheck to no check", Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings said in debate on the House floor.

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