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The “shutdown”, which partially paralyzed for nearly three weeks, the us federal government is in the process of becoming the longest in history, Donald Trump has assured Friday not wanting to declare “so fast,” the proceedings of a national emergency, and the Senate suspended its session until Monday.
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The record should be beaten Friday night at midnight, exceeding the 21 days of “shutdown” during the Clinton era in 1995-1996.
No compromise could be reached between the republican president that calls for $ 5.7 billion to build its wall anti-migrants at the border with Mexico, and democrats fiercely opposed to the project judged to be ” immoral “, which is both expensive and ineffective in the fight against illegal immigration.
“The easy solution for me is to declare a national emergency “, but ” I’m not going to do so quickly because it is for the Congress to do so “, said Friday the tenant of the White House at a roundtable discussion on border security.
“What we are not trying to make for the moment is the” national emergency “, he also said after days of speculation on the use of such a procedure, conferring of exceptional powers to the president. Use of such a prerogative would certainly plunge the country in a storm politico-legal.
At the Congress, no compromise on the horizon, and the Senate suspended its session early Friday afternoon. It will not meet again until Monday.
The consequences are very real. For the first time Friday, the 800,000 federal employees affected by the “shutdown” will not affect their salary.
Since 22 December, half of them were deemed ” non-essential “, have been placed on leave without pay, while the other half had been requisitioned.
If the most paid in the fortnight, had received their cheque at the end of December, they will not affect, however, not their payroll on Friday.
The House of representatives has, however, approved by an overwhelming majority Friday a law, already passed by the Senate, assuring federal employees that they will be paid retroactively once the “shutdown” ended. It is now up to the president to promulgate it.
This type of measurement is common in the United States when the country is going through such budget impasses. But it is not concerned with the millions of contract is also affected.
Several ministries are essential, such as those of homeland Security (DHS), Justice, or Transport, are affected by the ” shutdown “.
“More than 200 000 employees of DHS –protecting our air space, our waterways and our borders– will not be paid (in the immediate) while they are working,” said Bennie Thompson, democrat president of the commission for the homeland Security of the House of representatives.
On Thursday, the major unions of air transport –airline pilots, flight crews, air traffic controllers– have complained about a deteriorating situation, citing increased risks to the security of the country.
A terminal of the Miami international airport will be closed intermittently from Saturday to Monday, due to a lack of staff.
A demonstration in Washington was also gathered according to the unions more than 2000 employees of the government, who have expressed their concern about the deterioration of their living conditions.
“We have bills to pay. We have to pay our mortgage, ” explained to the AFP Anthony, a civilian employee of the coast guard, whose wife works for a non-profit association.
“Fortunately, we have a little bit of savings to live on, but it’s not going to last for a very long time,” he added, saying that officials were “taken hostage” by the republican president.
Many private or public initiatives, such as free meals or job fairs for the employees in technical unemployment, are organised all over the country.
“A national emergency”
To break the stalemate in Congress, Donald Trump stirred the past few days the threat of a process of” national emergency ” before, Friday, seem to take a step back.
“We have the absolute right to declare a national emergency, it is a question of security,” he said Thursday night on Fox News, on the sidelines of a visit to McAllen, city, texas’s border with Mexico.
Lindsey Graham, a republican senator from South Carolina, and political ally of the billionaire strongly supported this hypothesis: “Mr. president, invoke now a national emergency. Build a wall now, ” he wrote in a press release Friday after having met with Mr. Trump.
According to several u.s. media, the White House would consider redirecting funds for emergency aid to the various territories devastated by natural disasters, such as Puerto Rico, to fund the construction of a barrier at the border.
The paralysis extended to the federal government would have “a significant effect” on the first economy in the world, has also warned the boss of the us central Bank, Jerome Powell.