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US President Donald Trump has said he is prepared for a partial shutdown of the US government - now entering its third week - to last years.


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After meeting top Democrats, he also said he could declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a US-Mexico border wall.

 

Mr Trump insisted he would not sign any bill without wall funding, which Democrats adamantly oppose.

 

Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since 22 December.


The Republican president initially gave a positive account of Friday’s meeting at the White House, describing it as "very productive".

 

But then he acknowledged in response to a journalist’s question that he had threatened to keep federal agencies closed for years if necessary.

 

"I did say that, absolutely I said that," said Mr Trump in the executive mansion’s Rose Garden. "I don’t think it will but I am prepared."

 

"I’m very proud of doing what I’m doing," the president added. "I don’t call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country."

 

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday’s meeting had been "contentious".

 

What’s the background?

 

Democrats, who now hold the majority in the House, passed spending bills on Thursday to reopen the government, including $1.3bn (£1bn) of border security funds until 8 February.

 

But the legislation cannot take effect unless it passes the Republican-controlled Senate, where leader Mitch McConnell said his party would not back any measure without the president’s support.

 

 

In Friday’s news conference, Mr Trump also told reporters he might consider asking his cabinet to decline a $10,000 raise that is due to take effect because a pay freeze has expired as an inadvertent result of the shutdown.

 

The fiscal fiasco began when Congress and Mr Trump failed to reach an agreement over a budget bill in December.

 

The Republicans had passed an initial funding bill including $5bn (£4bn) for the wall, when they still had a majority in the House, but they could not get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate.

 

 

What does the partial shutdown mean?

 

About 25% of the US federal government has no funding

 

Nine departments have been affected, including Homeland Security, Justice, Housing, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, and the Treasury

 

Native American tribes who receive substantial federal funding are struggling

 

National Parks have become hazardous without staff

 

Report by - //dailysurma.com

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