Washington: On Saturday, the current US government shutdown became the longest in the country's history upon entering day number 22 with no end in sight, amid a budget battle over border security. On Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters that his administration is not looking into declaring a national emergency "right now" although he said, he has the legal authority to do so in order to bypass Congress to get more than $5 billion he wants to build the wall on the US-Mexico border.

The current shutdown surpassed the previous record set when the Clinton administration shut down for 21 days in the mid-1990s. Friday also marked the first missed paycheck for more than 800,000 federal government workers, about half of whom have worked without pay since the shutdown began December 22, with the remainder sent home. On Friday, the Senate announced that it was adjourning until Monday, signaling that no talks are scheduled to resolve the crisis over the weekend.

On January 8, 2019, Trump said during an oval office address that the United States was facing a humanitarian and security crisis on the border with Mexico, hence law enforcement needed funding to build the wall. US lower house Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Trump to reopen the federal government and stop the shutdown, while continuing discussions on border security separately.

On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to fund the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. However, Senate Republicans already said they would not vote for it and the Trump administration has threatened to veto any spending bill that lacks the necessary border funding.

The United States currently has physical barriers in place along about 30 percent of its 1,954-mile border with Mexico. At present, these 600 miles worth of barrier largely consist of multi-layered vehicle and pedestrian fences ranging in height from 15 to 20 feet tall.

You Might Also Like


Editors Choice