Congress approves measure to ensure federal workers are paid retroactively after shutdown

Congress approves measure to ensure federal workers are paid retroactively after shutdown

President Donald Trump said he could use emergency powers to bypass Congress to pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Majorities of Republicans (77 percent) and Democrats (93 percent) surveyed said federal workers should receive back pay when the shutdown concludes.

This source close to Trump also said the president is evaluating the effects on federal workers and the government writ large in the context that it is likely his last possible chance to deliver on a signature campaign promise and end a bonafide crisis on the southern border.

Trump, visiting McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande to highlight what he says is a crisis of drugs and crime, said that "if for any reason we don't get this going" - an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall - "I will declare a national emergency".

Republican and Democratic lawmakers raised immediate concerns over shifting funds that have already been approved by Congress for projects in states across the nation.

On Thursday, the president said he would declare a national emergency to compel funds for the wall if he couldn't make a deal with Democrats.

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The president has blamed the shutdown on Democrats, and Democrats have blamed the shutdown on the president.

The measure is part of a series of spending bills that House Democrats have advanced this week in an effort to put pressure on congressional Republicans and the White House as the shutdown continues.

Prospects for any kind of a deal grew even dimmer after Trump walked out of a meeting with Schumer and Pelosi on Wednesday to discuss the shutdown and then took to Twitter to call it "a total waste of time".

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) seemed to prove some of these fears valid in a Friday tweet, listing a number of non-wall issues he considers national emergencies, including gun violence and climate change.

The impasse between the president and Congress over the funding bill has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay, and a quarter of the federal government closed down.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, who had been involved in the effort, told reporters on Thursday, "I just don't see a pathway forward", after several days of talks.

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