President Donald Trump had a message on Tuesday for Democrats counting on him to relent in the Washington arm wrestle blocking funds to swaths of the government for a record 32 days: “No Cave!”
Trump’s defiant tweet again blamed congressional Democrats for the chaos, insisting he will not lift his shutdown on federal government funding unless they approve his $5.7bn plan for more walls along the US-Mexican border.
“Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security…. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly,” Trump tweeted.
Trump triggered a partial government shutdown on December 22 – refusing to sign off on funding everything from FBI salaries to national park services – as a way of pressuring the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to back the wall project.
But with Democrats refusing to give in and Trump sticking to his hardball tactics, political paralysis in Washington has morphed into growing day-to-day pain across the country as around 800 000 federal employees adjust to life without salaries.
Trump’s main opponent, Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, was adamant on Tuesday that the president is to blame. “#EndTheShutdown now,” she tweeted.
Pelosi, speaker of the Democrat-led House, argues that border security funding cannot even be discussed before the shutdown ends, accusing Trump of “holding Americans hostage”.