WASHINGTON -- The partial government shutdown is poised to become the longest shutdown ever in American history.
- By Saturday, the shutdown will become a record-breaker
- The fight remains over the southern border wall
- The president continues to signal that he could declare a national emergency and go around Congress
After failing to make a deal, Congress went home for the weekend. By Saturday, the shutdown will become a record-breaker.
The fight remains over the southern border wall, which was one of the president’s key campaign promises. The White House is demanding more than $5 billion for the wall. Democrats refuse.
Friday, the president continued to signal that he could declare a national emergency and go around Congress to build the wall. Many on the Hill, including some Republicans, question the legality of the declaration. Democrats are threatening to take it to court.
While Rep. Mark Walker argues the declaration is legal, he did express some concern.
“I just want to make we’re not setting the precedent for a more progressive president that may want to declare an emergency on climate control or something along those lines,” he said, arguing that it would be better if Congress took action.
Rep. Virginia Foxx defended the president in the event he chooses to pursue such a declaration.
“Other presidents have said things, other presidents have done things that have not been questioned by the folks on the other side of the aisle. Suddenly when President Trump does it, it’s questioned,” Foxx said.
In advance of a possible declaration, the Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting that the White House ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to look through their emergency budget to see about potentially diverting funds to the wall.
A spokesperson for Rep. David Rouzer, who represents the Wilmington and the surrounding coastal communities, suggested so far they have not been given any indication that this could disrupt any projects in North Carolina. However, she says, they are in "constant communication" with the Army Corps and that it is a “fluid process.”
Before leaving town, Congress approved legislation ensuring back pay for federal employees once the shutdown ends. The president says he will sign it.
Friday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees missed out on their first paycheck of the shutdown.