UPDATE: US Government Shutdown Heads Toward Ignominious Record

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - A partial US government shutdown appeared likely on Friday to become ...

Alliance News 11 January, 2019 | 4:31PM
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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - A partial US government shutdown appeared likely on Friday to become the longest ever in US history as it reached day 21, tying a record.

There was no sign of a breakthrough to end the stalemate, which has caused the closure of museums and parks and the furlough of several hundred thousand federal government employees. Friday was the first day without pay for many of the employees.

If the shutdown extends into Saturday, it will be longer than the 1995-96 shutdown, until now the longest in US history.

Both shutdowns began over government spending. The current shutdown is centred on USD5.7 billion US President Donald Trump wants Congress to approve for building a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Trump says it's necessary for national security, while Democrats refuse to fund it, slamming the proposed barrier as ineffective and a waste of tax dollars.

With no negotiations scheduled, the possibility of a declaration of a national emergency, which would give Trump a way to circumvent Democrats in Congress, remained in play. Trump said on Thursday he was "not prepared to do that yet" but also said he would if he didn't get results through negotiations.

Top Republican lawmaker Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who has been negotiating with Democrats, threw his support behind the idea on Thursday.

The controversial move would face legal challenges as experts and Democratic lawmakers say the situation on the US-Mexico border does not constitute a national emergency.

Copyright dpa

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