US President Donald Trump has blamed the ongoing partial federal government shutdown on his opponents playing politics, as the new look Democrat-controlled congress convenes for the first time.
Shortly before newly-elected members were sworn into the House of Representatives, including two Muslims, Trump said Democrats were “going all out on the desperately needed Wall and Border Security – and Presidential Harassment. For them, strictly politics!”
He claimed his opponents were doing this because they knew they could not win the 2020 election “based on all the achievements of Trump”.
Senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, meanwhile, continued advocating the border wall, the funding for which is at the centre of the disagreement.
In an appearance on Fox News today Conway argued if Democrats and the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really cared about migrants trying to enter the US, they would support a wall keeping them out.
“It’s not fair to them [migrants], and if Nancy Pelosi really cared about those kids, she would have at least listened,” she said.
The shutdown has left around 25 per cent of the government without any funding, meaning only essential employees will continue working – but they will not be paid.
Nine departments, including Homeland Security, Justice, Agriculture, Housing and the Treasury, have been affected so far, with around 800,000 federal workers temporarily laid off because of the funding gap.