United States President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed to have a “plan” to end the partial government shutdown, warning at the same time that it could go on for “a long time” if the Democrats do not cooperate. The shutdown became the longest ever on Saturday as it entered its 22nd day.
The 21-day shutdown in 1995-’96, when Bill Clinton was president, was the previous longest. Around 800,000 federal workers did not receive they salaries on Friday, and some have had to sell their possessions or look to raise funds online, Reuters reported.
“We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border,” Trump said. “We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!”
He claimed he saw a “fake news” report that the White House does not seem to have a plan for the shutdown. “In fact, there’s almost nobody in the W.H. [White House] but me, and I do have a plan on the Shutdown,” Trump said. “But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people. Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!”
Trump said the Democrats could resolve the shutdown “in 15 minutes”, and asked citizens to call their Democratic Congress representatives and “tell them to get it done”.
The federal government shut down partially after Democrats refused to allocate $5.7 billion funding sought by Trump to build a wall along the border of Mexico. Earlier this month, the House passed legislative measures to reopen the government, but Trump threatened to veto it and the Republican-controlled Senate decided not to approve the measures.
Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to secure the money. Constructing the border wall was on Trump’s electoral agenda in the 2016 presidential campaign.