Video: Federal shutdown passes three weeks

Donald Trump addresses the nation on the government shutdown. Pic: Getty Images
Donald Trump addresses the nation on the government shutdown. Pic: Getty Images
Share this article
Have your say

During his live address, Trump called border immigration a ‘crisis of the heart and soul’.

The United States is days away from enduring the longest government shutdown in the country’s history.

It has already run longer than the previous second-longest shutdown of 1978, when President Jimmy Carter vetoed public works legislation including a nuclear powered aircraft, labelling it wasteful.

The longest on record occurred during the Clinton administration, shutting down parts of the government between December 16 1995 and January 6 1996.

The current partial shutdown began on December 22. Neither the White House or Congress show any sign of backing down over the budget request to fund the President’s wall. Republicans and Democrats are digging in for a long winter while 800,000 federal workers face the possibility of no pay.

Read more: Donald Trump may spark new space race with China – Martyn McLaughlin

At the heart of the issue, Congress has blocked the funding proposal for President Trump’s barrier running along the border with Mexico.

In a television address from The White House, Trump told the American people he was proud to take responsibility for the shutdown, threatening it could last “months or even years”.

Congress is currently denying his request for $5.7bn of taxpayer money to fund the wall, but should the shutdown continue much longer, the president has the power to declare a National Emergency,granting him powers to bypass Congressional approval altogether.