Washington (dpa) - The partial stagnation of government under US President Donald Trump has grown to become the longest in the history of the United States.
At midnight (US East Coast time, 6:00 am CET), the previous record of the 21-day "shutdown" of 1995/1996 was broken. The current budget freeze began on 22nd December - and there is no end in sight.
The reason for this is the dispute between Trump and the Democrats over the money demanded by the president for building a wall on the border with Mexico. Since it was not time for the adoption of a budget law, several ministries can not work normally. Around 800,000 government and federal government employees have to work without pay or stay in forced leave. As the funding of the State Department is affected, this also applies to US embassies worldwide.
The White House also can not work with the full staff. According to an emergency plan of the government headquarters of the 359 full-time employees only 156 may come to work. Your areas are considered essential.
Before the stalemate began in December, Trump said he would take responsibility for a possible shutdown. But when it actually came to that, he blamed the Democrats.
The Republican refuses to sign a budget law that does not include money for the wall on the southern border of the US he demands. The Democrats, whose votes Trump needs in Congress, refuse but vehemently. A solution is not in sight, so far the last conversation between the president and representatives of the Democrats failed, a new one is not planned for the time being.
Trump has threatened to impose a "National Emergency" should the Democrats stay with their line. Such a declaration of emergency gave him far-reaching powers, and he could try to have the wall built without Congress approval. A nationwide state of emergency in which laws or even fundamental rights are repealed, but that would not mean.
On Friday Trump rowed back a bit. An emergency declaration would be the simplest solution, but he would not use this remedy "so quickly," said the president in the White House. He wanted Congress to do its job - and therefore does not impose a "state of emergency" at the moment. However, if Congress does not agree on some funding for the Wall, then he will have to resort to the measure, for better or for worse.
The Democrats have threatened resistance in this case. The matter could keep the courts busy and give the government a tough lawsuit.
In recent years, it has often happened that the government apparatus has come to a standstill because of disputes between Democrats and Republicans. The longest "shutdown" in US history occurred at the turn of the year 1995/1996 under the then Democratic President Bill Clinton, because Republicans and Democrats argued about the health insurance "Medicare". At that time, the entire government was affected.
Emergency plan of the White House