Donald Trump sets record for the longest US government shutdown

About 800,000 workers missed paychecks Friday, many receiving blank pay statements.

With Trump walking out of meetings with the opposition Democrats over the lack of funding for his border wall with Mexico, his administration set a new record when the impasse hit 22 days on the second weekend in January.

A solution couldn’t come soon enough for federal workers who got pay statements Friday but no pay.

The House and Senate voted to give federal workers back pay whenever the federal government reopens and then left town for the weekend, leaving the shutdown on track to become one for the record books once the clock struck midnight and the closure entered its 22nd day. And while Trump privately considered one dramatic escape route — declaring a national emergency to build the wall without a new stream of cash from Congress — members of his own party were fiercely debating that idea, and the president urged Congress to come up with another solution.

“What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency,” Trump said. He insisted that he had the authority to do that, adding that he’s “not going to do it so fast” because he’d still prefer to work a deal with Congress.

About 800,000 workers missed paychecks Friday, many receiving blank pay statements. Some posted photos of their empty earnings statements on social media as a rallying cry to end the shutdown, a jarring image that many in the White House feared could turn more voters against the president as he holds out for billions in new wall funding.

(With inputs from AP)

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