Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Trump says government workers hurt by shutdown can "make adjustments"

Trump says government workers hurt by shutdown can

"I informed my folks to say that we'll build a steel barrier", Trump told reporters after returning to the White House from a senior staff meeting at Camp David, Maryland.

White House officials said another meeting with Congressional leadership is expected in the coming days aimed at slowly coming to a deal that would end the partial government shutdown.

He also said that he should not have to lower his demand for $US5.6 billion, though he said he understood the impact the impasse was having on affected federal workers struggling to pay their bills.

The shutdown, which is threatening to become the longest in USA history, is affecting about 800,000 federal workers, many of whom will soon miss their first paycheck, and has curtailed the functions of numerous government agencies.

Trump, a former NY businessman, said he could relate to the workers who would have trouble paying bills because of the shutdown and threatened, again, to declare a national emergency as an alternative way to build the wall, depending on the outcome of talks in the coming days.

Collins, one of at least three Senate Republicans who've called for reopening government while the debate over the wall continues, said she'd like to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bring House-passed appropriation bills to the floor.

Trump's change in strategy comes as a partial government shutdown enters its 17th day, with seemingly neither side moving an inch in demands set out from the very beginning.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he might declare a national emergency imminently to secure money for his border wall.

Getting dollars for a border wall was always going to be an uphill task for Trump.

He has also said he is considering declaring a national emergency so he could bypass US Congress and get the funding.

Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told CNN on Sunday that Democratic negotiators seemed to have come to the talks Saturday "to stall". "A see-through wall made out of steel is far stronger than a concrete wall". He said Trump had painted himself into a corner and needs to "figure out how he unpaints himself from that corner". "He's not building a wall anymore, ' that should help us move in the right direction", Mulvaney said on NBC's "Meet the Press". Democrats want to ensure that they are shielded from deportation but have refused to link the issue with a deal on wall funding.

Both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to pin the blame the other side for the shutdown - a disruptive political ritual nearly unique to the American system.

"In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, 'Where is the emergency?'" Smith said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Otherwise, Trump said, the shutdown is "going to go on for a long time".

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents are working without pay during the partial shutdown, which has led to about 800,000 federal workers being furloughed or called to work without pay. "It's been done a number of times, '" Trump tweeted. And hundreds of government scientists say they will miss crucial opportunities to exchange research and ideas because the shutdown is stopping them from attending major scientific conferences about technology, space exploration and climate change.

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