Trump doubles down on border wall argument

People look across Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House

Image The shutdown continues- without any end in sight

The record shutdown has furloughed 800,000 federal employees and cut government services across the United States, caused by a lack of agreement between Republicans and Democrats over their funding.

United States President Donald Trump said he was holding off on declaring a state of emergency to end the partial U.S. government shutdown that dragged into a 23rd day yesterday, as he insisted on US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats oppose.

"I would hate to see it".

"If we do that, it's going to go to court and the wall won't get built", he said.

Trump continued to blame Democrats for the impasse. The poll finds 51 percent say they strongly oppose such a declaration.

Democrats have strongly opposed the idea. He said the failure by Democrats may leave President Trump no other choice but to declare a national emergency. Almost everyone at Nasa is being told to stay home, as are most at the internal revenue service, which processes tax returns and issues refunds, though the administration says it will issue refunds during the shutdown.

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As the partisan battle drags on, the effects of the partial shutdown have become steadily clearer, and new polls show growing public dissatisfaction.

It turns out that in the poll, conducted between January 8-11, 2019 of 788 Americans, 53% of those polled believe that Trump and congressional Republicans are to blame, while just 29% blame the Democrats in Congress for the shutdown, and 13% blame both parties equally.

There's good news for Republicans, though, looking to obtain some sort of immigration reform compromise in ongoing budget negotiations: most wall supporters polled by the Washington Post want Republicans - and especially President Trump - to stand firm on making funding for the border wall part of the final budget package. But last week, Trump shot down a deal floated by Senate Republicans that would have included those protections, and he has repeatedly said that he plans to wait until the Supreme Court rules on the matter before seeking to negotiate with Democrats on it. Trump said in a separate tweet.

But Trump insisted that the "only way you're going to stop" trafficking of drugs and people is with a wall.

The president has closely tied his fate to his steadfast conservative base.

However, 42 percent now support building a U.S. -Mexico border wall, the highest percentage in the poll since Trump first proposed it when announcing his campaign for presidency in June 2015, the poll found. He said he was giving Congress a chance to "act responsibly".

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Opponents say a unilateral presidential move like declaring emergency would be constitutional overreach and set a risky precedent in similar controversies.

The partial government shutdown has now become the longest in U.S. history.

Pirro also questioned Mr Trump about a New York Times report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an inquiry into whether the president was secretly working for Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, 800,000 federal employees will begin their 24th day Monday either furloughed or working without pay.

And Trump's stated reason for shutting down the government, securing funds for a border wall, also polled poorly.

Mr Trump told Pirro he had not left the White House in months except for recent trips to Iraq and Germany and was "ready, willing and able to get a deal done".

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