Trump: Government shutdown will go on 'for long time unless Democrats come back from their holidays'

Donald Trump defended his partial government shutdown strategy on Twitter on Saturday, claiming that critics were wrong to say he did not have a plan for the longest federal closure in American history as it reaches its 22nd day and counting.

The US president, however, did state that the government will be shut down “for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work.”

The shutdown, caused by an impasse between Mr Trump and Democrats over $5.6bn (£4.4bn) request for a border wall, has resulted in more than 800,000 federal workers missing their paychecks on Friday.

Both Mr Trump and Congress have come out with proposed solutions to end the government shutdown.

The president is refusing to back down from his demands, and has even proposed a dramatic escape route: declaring a national emergency to build his steel designed border wall.

By declaring a national emergency, Mr Trump believes he could build the wall – perhaps using funds allocated for disaster relief in Puerto Rico – on the southern border without congressional approval.

“What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency,” Mr Trump said.

The president claimed he had the authority to do so, adding that he was “not going to do it so fast” because he would rather work for a deal with Congress.

Congress, on the other hand, has already made measures to close help out with the government shutdown.

Both the House and the Senate voted to give federal workers back pay when the federal government reopens, but the bill requires the president’s signature to go into effect. Mr Trump has repeatedly threatened to veto the bill.

Congress also adjourned for the weekend, meaning that the government shutdown is expected to go on until at least Monday.