Trump says workers not getting paid because of government shutdown will have to 'make adjustments'

President has threatened to declare national emergency to get wall funding 

Andrew Buncombe
Sunday 06 January 2019 21:08 GMT
Donald Trump says workers not getting paid because of government shutdown will have to 'make adjustments'

Donald Trump has said government workers not being paid because of the shutdown will have to “make adjustments”, even as he insisted he could feel the pain of those facing hardship.

As the shutdown triggered by the president’s refusal to compromise on a spending bill that does not include $5bn to build a border wall entered its third week, Mr Trump told reporters he did not expect any imminent breakthrough. Another round of talk between White House staff and Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, was taking place on Sunday.

“Ultimately, it’s going to be solved by the principals,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for staff meetings at Camp David, according to the Associated Press.

Of the talks being led by vice president with senior leaders from both parties, he said he did not expect to “have anything happen at that meeting”, but said he believed “we’re going to have some very serious talks come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday”.

Asked directly if he could relate to the “pain of federal workers who cannot pay their bills”, the president said he could.

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“And I’m sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments,” he said.

“They always do. And they’ll make adjustments. People understand exactly what’s going on. But many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 per cent with what I’m doing.”

Over the weekend, a White House official said Mr Trump could declare a national emergency to secure military funding wall if talks fail to deliver.

Asked about this idea on Sunday, the president said: “I may declare a national emergency dependent on what’s going to happen over the next few days.”

As many as 800,000 federal workers across the country are facing financial uncertainty, according to CNBC. Around 420,000 employees considered “essential,” and are working without pay, while another 380,000 have been ordered to stay home.

Last week, Mr Trump said he could keep parts of the government shut for “months or even years”, he did not receive the $5.6bn in funding for wall. Democrats have so far said they would agree to a measure to provide $1.3bn for border security measures but not a wall.

Last month, the administration added to the controversy when it suggested to workers they could negotiate with creditors and mortgage companies.

One sample letter designed for people to send to their landlords, discussed a temporary reduction in rent payments and suggested “the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments”, the Washington Post reported.

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