United States federal shutdown becomes longest in history

Supporters of President Donald Trump react to protesters during Trump's Texas visit

Media captionJust why has the USA government partially shut down?

A quarter of USA federal government workers have been impacted by the partial shutdown but employees deemed "essential" workers must continue to work without pay. Of the 54 percent of Americans who oppose the wall, 27 percent say Democrats should continue to resist Trump's demands for $5.7 billion for a barrier, and 23 percent say Democrats should compromise with the president.

But Democrats say the $5.7bn (£4.5bn) needed is a waste of taxpayers' money.

Nearly half of the State Department employees in the U.S. and about one-quarter overseas have been granted a leave of absence during the shutdown.

Friday was the first payday of the year for such workers and contractors, some at home, some forced to work. Some shared their blank payslips on social media.

"Meaning, we saw an influx in family units and unaccompanied minors", Morgan said. This is really the Republican Shutdown, or maybe the Grand Old Party's Dysfunctional Moment, and it's vital that we be clear about what is going on.

There are also reports of food banks being set up to help those workers now struggling to pay their bills.

Radha Muthiah, the CEO of Capital Area Food Bank, said that dozens of volunteers are working to pack bags of food for affected workers. No new talks are scheduled, and about 800,000 federal employees went without paychecks Friday.

There are reports that thousands of workers have filed for unemployment amid the financial uncertainty, while others are calling in sick.

In Miami, an entire airport terminal will be closed this weekend because of a shortage of security workers.

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What will happen next?

U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd L) speaks as (L-R) Sheriff Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh of Chester County of Pennsylvania, Sheriff A.J. Louderback of Jackson County of Texas, and Pastor Pasqual Urrabazo of International Church of Las Vegas, listen during a round-table discussion on border security and safe communities with State, local, and community leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on January 11, 2019 in Washington, DC.

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. Later Saturday, he supplemented a day's worth of tweets by telephoning in to Fox News Channel's "Justice with Judge Jeanine" Pirro from the White House to continue his public relations blitz for the wall.

The president said the "easy solution is for me to call a national emergency. but I'm not going to do it so fast", adding, "This is something that Congress can do". A person familiar with White House thinking said that in meetings this past week, the message was that the administration is in no rush and wants to consider various options. "I am in the White House waiting for you!".

A national emergency would allow Trump to divert money from other projects to pay for the wall, which was a central promise of his 2016 campaign.

"This lawsuit is not complicated: We do not believe it is lawful to compel a person to work without paying them", the federation's president, Randy Erwin, said in a statement.

Has Trump changed his pledge on funding the wall?

For the president, who visited the Texas border with Mexico on Thursday, the border situation amounts to an invasion by criminals. "I have the absolute right", he insisted.

Presidential elections in the USA are due in 2020, and building the wall was one of his key campaign promises, so it's very likely that Trump is feeling under pressure to get it started.

The newly Democratic House majority has not been idle, however, passing several packages of bills to fully reopen the United States government, while also passing a handful of individual appropriations bills.

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