Government shutdown becomes the longest in USA history

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer say President Donald Trump just got up and walked out on their negotiation

The US government shutdown over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding became the longest in the modern era as it stretched into its 22nd day Saturday with no end in sight.

Trump spoke with Jeanine Pirro during "Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday on Fox News and deflected questions about when he would use emergency powers to stop the record-setting partial government shutdown.

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. government workers have missed their first payday of the year as the partial shutdown of federal agencies bites deeper.

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are nearly there, I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday". "If we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off".

The president considered a dramatic escape route - declaring a national emergency to build the border wall without a new stream of cash from Congress.

Trump says he'll keep the government shut down until funding for the wall he promised to build throughout his campaign for president is approved.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) says American diplomats' morale remains "good" despite the government shutdown that's left many of them working without pay. The president initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but then pulled back.

Of the 800,000 federal employees going unpaid, about 350,000 are furloughed - a kind of temporary lay-off - while the rest are continuing to work.

Until Friday, Trump had suggested numerous times that he was getting closer to taking the controversial decision. Democrats reject that characterization and continue to prepare a response to an emergency declaration that would involve recourse to the courts.

But Trump accused the Democrats of only wanting to score points against him with a view to the 2020 presidential elections.

"What Lindsey Graham just told the president is a great place to start", Sen.

President Donald Trump says he's at the White House waiting for Democrats to return to Washington and help end the shutdown.

Trump spent a snowy morning in Washington tweeting about the wall. But he was persuaded that the seriousness of the moment warranted the Oval Office for his speech to the nation this week about the fight over the border wall. Pelosi also has shown no interest in accepting a wall - she has called it an "immorality" - in exchange for immigration fixes. The White House also was eyeing military construction money, another politically hard choice because it would take away from a backlog of hundreds of projects. By Friday, lawmakers said they were being told those projects will not be touched and the White House was now looking for other funds to pay for the border wall.

And according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted between January 8 and 11, 53 percent of Americans blame Trump and congressional Republicans for the shutdown, compared to 29 percent who blame congressional Democrats and 13 percent who blame both.

Trump walked out of a White House meeting last week with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, when they refused to approve a border wall, even if he reopened the government and negotiated over border security for the next 30 days.

"You get people ... saying walls are immoral", Trump said, after ticking off a litany of crimes committed both by and against immigrants. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said in a separate appearance on "Fox News Sunday".

"There is no indication from him that he would green-light us to vote for these bills after making that declaration", Meadows said.

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