Donald Trump has said he has “no idea” whether he can get a deal on his controversial border wall.
After stopping short of carrying out his threat to declare a national emergency, the US President pinned the blame for the continuation of the partial government shutdown on the Democrats, saying it could continue “for a long time”.
On Saturday, the shutdown ran into a 22nd day, making it the longest government shutdown in US history.
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday, Mr Trump said he had “no idea” whether he can get a deal with House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Asked why he had yet to declare a national emergency, he said he was giving Congress a chance to “act responsibly”.
In a series of tweets on the same day, Mr Trump insisted: “…I do have a plan on the Shutdown. But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people.
“Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!”
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He continued: “We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!”
Politicians are due back in Washington from their states and congressional districts in the new week.
This week, the president is expected to sign legislation passed by Congress to provide back pay for around 800,000 federal workers who are not being paid during the shutdown.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, travelling in Abu Dhabi, claimed that morale is good among US diplomats even as many work without pay.
He said: “We’re doing our best to make sure it doesn’t impact our diplomacy.”
Almost half of the State Department employees in the US and about one-quarter abroad have been granted a leave of absence during the shutdown.