US budget shutdown talks to resume on Sunday, Trump says


6 January, 2019 08:48 AM

US budget shutdown talks to resume on Sunday, Trump says

US President Donald Trump. File photo

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Talks to end the partial US federal government shutdown will resume on Sunday, President Donald Trump says, as the stalemate enters its third week.

Mr Trump tweeted there was "not much headway made today" in talks with Democratic party representatives.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meanwhile said her party would introduce appropriation bills to try to reopen certain agencies.

About 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since 22 December.

The stand-off has seen Mr Trump withhold support for a bill to fully fund the government until he gets money for a US-Mexico border wall.

Transport Security Administration employee Brian Turner told the BBC he might have to look for another job if the shutdown continued.

"We have a five-month -ld son so we have about a month left before we're going to have to start having those difficult conversations about what to do next," he said.

Mr Trump said a second meeting with the Democratic Party heads was scheduled for Sunday, and reiterated his call for a wall to "fix the problems on the Southern Border".

He had earlier met with Ms Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

President Trump also said he could declare a national emergency to build the proposed border wall without the approval of Congress.

He said he was prepared for the partial government shutdown to last months or even years.

"I'm very proud of doing what I'm doing," the president added. "I don't call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country."

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll reportedly shows 50% blame the president for the shutdown, while 32% see the Democratic Party as culpable.

Ms Pelosi said after the failed talks on Saturday that her party would introduce piecemeal bills aimed at reopening certain government agencies, starting with the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department.

"This action is necessary so that the American people can receive their tax refunds on schedule," she said.

The House Speaker has previously called Mr Trump's border wall plan "a waste of money" and "immoral".