Shut­down the long­est in US his­tory

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON: The par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down be­came the long­est in US his­tory when the clock ticked past mid­night on Fri­day as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and ner­vous Repub­li­cans scram­bled to find a way out of the mess.

A so­lu­tion couldn’t come soon enough for about 800 000 fed­eral work­ers who got pay state­ments on Fri­day but no pay. Some posted pho­tos of their blank salary state­ments on social me­dia as a cry to end the shut­down, an im­age many in the White House feared could turn more vot­ers against the pres­i­dent.

The House and Se­nate voted to give work­ers back­pay when­ever the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­opened, then left town for the week­end, leav­ing the shut­down on track to be­come one for the record books as the clo­sure en­tered day 22.

And while Trump con­sid­ered one dra­matic es­cape route – declar­ing a na­tional emer­gency to build the wall with­out a new stream of cash from Congress – mem­bers of his own party were fiercely de­bat­ing that idea and the pres­i­dent urged Congress to come up with an­other so­lu­tion. “What we’re not look­ing to do right now is na­tional emer­gency,” Trump said.

He in­sisted he had the author­ity to do so, but he’d still pre­fer a deal with Congress.|

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