The partial government shutdown that began due to a deadlock between US President Donald Trump and the US Congress over federal funding for Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico has now entered its 22nd day, making it the longest such shutdown in US history, reports The Indian Express.
800,000 federal workers have been directly affected by the federal government’s partial closure; receiving empty pay statements on Friday (11 January 2019). The House and the Senate have voted to resume the salaries of federal workers only when the government reopens, putting these employees in a precarious position.
With onion polls showing that Trump and the Republican Party are getting the primary blame from the public for the crisis, reportedly, the administration may also be considering the radical option of declaring a national emergency, through which the funding process could sidestep Congress entirely.
“What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency,” Trump stated, expressing caution about the idea while explaining that he would not move to that option ‘so fast’ but would first try and reach a deal with Congress.
The White House has also looked at other options such as diverting funds from other accounts; one idea has been to divert funds that were allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers following last year’s devastating storms and hurricanes. However, officials from Puerto Rico and some US states which suffered damage from the natural disasters lambasted the idea.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the president of trying to divert attention from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation against him and other issues plaguing the White House.