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Government shutdown enters 4th week

Government shutdown enters 4th week

Johnson also suggested that Congress pass legislation to pay federal employees who are now working without pay.

A Republican senator advising Donald Trump has said he is encouraging the president to reopen the government for several weeks to continue negotiating with Democrats over funding for a US-Mexico border wall.

Trump is growing more frustrated as the shutdown drags on and is complaining that his aides are not offering him an exit strategy.

One major airport, Miami International, will close an entire terminal this weekend because so many security staff have called in sick.

"I want to give them a chance to see if they can act responsibly", Trump said. Democrats haven't negotiated any new deal since their $1.3 billion offer for border-security purposes, which does not include any funding for a wall.

"I'm in the White House, waiting", Trump said, accusing Democrats of "having fun and not even talking!"

There was no movement toward a settlement, with Congress not meeting again till Monday.

Trump tweeted that "to understand" his plan, "you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people".

Today's record beats the previous longest shutdown of 21 days from 1995 to 1996 when former USA president Bill Clinton was in office. That ended when congressional Republicans agreed to a short-term funding bill for closed agencies that was later extended.

The government shutdown is now well into its third week, making it the longest shutdown in history.

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But there was another election, in November, and the effect of that is that the Democrats now control the House and they refuse to give Trump money for a wall.

An attempt Thursday by moderate Republican senators to broker a deal that would have traded immigration protections for undocumented "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. as children in return for wall money collapsed after Vice President Mike Pence rejected it. Although Trump had publicly raised the specter of declaring a national emergency and using disaster funds to pay for new wall construction, Trump appeared to have at least temporarily backed off that idea as of 11 January 2019.

Replied Hoyer, "Oh no, I think there was an election, and he did raise that question".

Many Republicans doubt that the invocation of a national emergency would help their cause - likely influencing Trump's decision Friday to say he was holding off in order to give Democrats more time to strike a deal.

"I have the absolute right to call a national emergency".

House Democrats as well as a smattering of Republicans voted this week in favor of bills to reopen portions of the government.

But the measures are unlikely to be approved by the Senate, which is controlled by Mr Trump's Republicans. While McConnell has been part of the process, he was not present outside the White House last week after talks between Trump and congressional leaders collapsed.

California Democrat Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted on Saturday that his panel had tried to get the notes but was blocked by Republicans.

Trump has kept Washington on edge over whether he would resort to such a declaration, citing what he says is a "crisis" of drug smuggling and the trafficking of women and children at the border. Those civil asset forfeiture funds, held by the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department, generate billions of dollars annually, he said.

Separately, Senator Rob Portman and eight other Republican senators introduced legislation that would permanently outlaw the closing of government operations during budget fights, underscoring the growing frustration in Washington.

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