Shutdown hits grim milestone: 800,000 employees not paid

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jan 11, 2019

(NBC News) The ongoing government shutdown passed a grim milestone Friday. More than 800,000 federal employees weren’t paid, as the clock ticked toward the shutdown becoming the longest in U.S. history.

With Congress and President Trump deadlocked over a border wall, he’s hinting at declaring a national emergency, bypassing Congress and using military funds to pay for a wall.

“A wall works. Nothing like a wall,” Mr. Trump said Thursday during a visit to the Texas border.

Some Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham, are voicing support for the emergency declaration.

“Now is the time to exercise that option,” Graham said.

Others disagree.

“The real concern that I have is the precedent that this then sets,” said Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski.

The White House is also considering a plan to divert emergency funds set aside for hurricane cleanup in Puerto Rico, flood prevention in California and other disaster relief.

White House lawyers are currently working on the legal justification now to shift that money to the border.

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