President Trump tamped down expectations that he is close to declaring a national emergency to get the money he desires to build his long-promised US-Mexico border wall as a three-week impasse closing parts of the government continued on Friday.
Many workers, such as prison guards and airport staff, have been working without any guarantee of pay since the shutdown began on 22 December.
Democrats say they are ready to put up a fight should the president act on his threats, including taking measures to block attempts to reallocate the money.
"The president once said that Mexico would pay for the wall", he said, playing a montage of Trump at campaign rallies. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny "100 percent".
But such a move would be hugely controversial, sparking allegations of the overuse of executive powers and it would nearly certainly face huge legal challenges.
"In all my years in Congress we never dealt with this idea of an emergency, " DeSantis said. Neither side appears willing to budge - and if the White House and congressional leaders can not come to an agreement, Trump has vowed to "almost definitely" use his emergency powers to build the wall. But the Mexican government has refused and Trump is now demanding that Congress provide $5.7 billion in US taxpayer funding for the wall.
The FBI Agents Association urged the White House and Congress in a petition to fund the FBI and the Justice Department, saying that while agents continue to work without pay, they are operating with limited resources, which is endangering national security. But Pence, in a briefing with reporters, said the president prefers to wait for the courts to decide that issue.
US warns against travelling in China
One reason Chinese-American travelers may be vulnerable is that the Chinese government does not recognize dual nationalities. Canadian teacher Sarah McIver was reportedly released last week after she was held for "unlawfully working in China".
President Trump on the partial government shutdown and efforts to reach a compromise on border wall funding.
Pence said the president has "made no decision" about declaring a national emergency, but added, "The president's going to get this done one way or the other".
Trump is to visit a border patrol station and receive a briefing on border security. "Nothing like a wall".
We are now in the third week of the longest government shutdown in USA history.
As he arrived in Texas, several hundred protesters near the airport in McAllen chanted and waved signs opposing a wall. "Build a wall now", Sen. "Let's end the shutdown and reopen the government!" said Sen. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump abruptly left a meeting after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would not fund the wall.
The partial shutdown would set a record early Saturday, stretching beyond the 21-day closure that ended Jan 6, 1996, during President Clinton's administration.
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