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Border wall: Trump backs away from national emergency

Border wall: Trump backs away from national emergency

Only in recent days has Trump begun describing the problem as "humanitarian", referring in a tweet Saturday to "a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border". Senator Dick Durbin of IL, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, said on ABC's "This Week" that "one phone call" from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could get the ball rolling to reopen the government.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who speaks to Trump frequently, said that unless Republicans and Democrats strike an unlikely compromise, "I fully expect him to declare a national emergency".

Mr Trump threatened anew that the shutdown could continue indefinitely as the Democrats, who now control the House, refuse to give him money for the wall.

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we're nearly there, I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug, see if we can get a deal", said Graham, a South Carolina Republican. Trump is expected to sign the bill.

Some US media reports suggested the White House was considering diverting some of the $US13.9 billion allocated past year by Congress for disaster relief in such areas as Puerto Rico, Texas and California to pay for the wall.

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.

About 800,000 federal workers missed their first paychecks on Friday in the closures that have shuttered about a quarter of USA government operations.

Mr Trump, however, acknowledged that such a move would likely trigger a legal battle ending in the Supreme Court.

"The positive, shall we say, nearly technological wall that can be built is what we should be doing", Pelosi said. The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay.

More news: Two Democratic senators call for blocking votes unrelated to shutdown

"They're not going to write us a check", Hannity replied. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union". "Many of our crimes, much - MS-13 comes through the border, drugs, a big proportion of the drugs from, you know, that we have from this country - in this country come through the border".

Top Republican lawmakers on Sunday warned against Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to secure funds for a border wall, signaling doubts within the president's party as a government shutdown was set to enter a fourth workweek.

He maintained he had a right to declare the emergency, but added: "I'm not going to do it so fast". The president said he is open to using emergency powers but has also said the shutdown could last "months or even years".

On Saturday it reaches its 22nd day, overtaking the previous record - the 21-day shutdown in 1995-96 under then-President Bill Clinton. His tariffs fight with China has brought both sides to the negotiating table.

For now, there is still no end in sight to the current shutdown, which has impacted roughly a quarter of the federal government and hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Miami International Airport announced it will have to shut one of its terminals this weekend due to a shortage of security staff caused by high sick leave. There is no plan, ' " Trump, 72, tweeted on Saturday, without indicating where he saw the report.

As the shutdown has continued, both the House and Senate have approved legislation that would provide back pay to federal workers once the shutdown ends.

Almost half of all Americans (47 per cent) say there is a serious problem at the border but decline to call it a crisis.