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International News

Jan 12, 2019
5:30PM

US partial govt shutdown becomes longest on record

BBC
The partial shutdown of the US government has become the longest on record, with still no end in sight to the political standoff.

Today, it reaches its 22nd day, overtaking the previous record - the 21-day shutdown in 1995-96 under then-President Bill Clinton.

President Donald Trump is refusing to approve a budget unless it includes funds for a wall on the Mexican border.

Democrats have rejected his request for $5.7bn. About a quarter of the federal government is still out of operation until a spending plan is agreed, leaving 800,000 employees unpaid.

Yesterday, those workers - including prison guards, airport staff and FBI agents - missed their first salaries of the year.

Meanwhile, President Trump has calmed speculation that he is about to declare a national emergency in order to bypass Congress and get the money he needs. His proposed border wall was a key election pledge.

He described an emergency declaration as an "easy way out" and said he would prefer Congress to resolve the problem.

But he added if they can't do it he will declare a national emergency and he has the absolute right.

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