Poll shows majority blame Republicans for US shutdown
Government closure officially became the longest in US history on Saturday Trump tweets that immigrants are to blame for crime rates in the US
US president Donald Trump continued to hold Democrats responsible for the government shutdown as it passed its 23rd day, despite a poll showing most Americans blame Republicans for the impasse.
The shutdown officially became the longest government closure in history on Saturday, beating the 21-day record set during the Clinton administration in 1995. In a series of tweets sent from the White House yesterday, Mr Trump urged the Democrats to negotiate.
“I’m in the White House, waiting. The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!” he tweeted.
He also returned to one of the central themes of his campaign trail – that immigrants were to blame for crime in the country. “The building of the Wall on the Southern Border will bring down the crime rate throughout the entire Country!” he tweeted. “The damage done to our Country from a badly broken Border – Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad – is far greater than a Shutdown, which the Dems can easily fix as soon as they come back to Washington!”
Thousands of federal workers missed their first pay cheque on Friday as pay day came and went without a solution to the appropriations crisis that has led to a partial government shutdown since December 22nd.
Refusing to cede
As politicians prepared to return to Washington today for the working week, no negotiations were scheduled between the Democratic leadership and White House representatives. Democrats are refusing to cede to Mr Trump’s demands for $5.7 billion for border security.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi said late last week that the concept of a border wall was “immoral”. With no end in sight to the government shutdown, a fresh poll shows that more Americans, by a wide margin, blame Republicans over Democrats for the record-breaking shutdown which has paralysed parts of Washington DC and the government machinery.
A total of 53 per cent of respondents said Mr Trump and Republicans were to blame, while 29 per cent blame the Democrats, according to an ABC-Washington Post poll; 13 per cent of people believe both sides bear responsibility.
However, there were some positive signs for the White House when it comes to public sentiment about Mr Trump’s controversial wall. Support for building it increased to 42 per cent from 34 per cent a year ago, the poll showed, though the increase mostly reflected a strengthening of support among Republicans. Some 87 per cent of Republicans now support the building of the wall, the poll found.
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday night Mr Trump again underlined his prerogative to declare a national emergency over immigration, a move that could allow him bypass Congress and tap department of defence funds to build his wall. But the White House appears reluctant to do so at this juncture, instead focusing on blaming Democrats for failing to endorse a funding deal that would address border security concerns.