Shutdown Pressure On Trump, Democrats Escalates As Federal Workers Poised To Miss First Paycheck

President Trump and lawmakers will face a new level of pressure to end their stalemate over border wall funding Friday when hundreds of thousands of federal workers miss their first paycheck as a result of the partially shuttered federal government, strategists say.

In the halls of Congress, though, even some of the president’s closest allies are recognizing that they about to enter a new foray in the battle over the wall.

Parts of the government have remained closed since Dec. 22, when funding for a slew of federal agencies lapsed.

The shutdown, which affects roughly 800,000 federal workers, is the result of an impasse between the White House and Democrats over funding for a wall along the southern border, for which Trump has demanded $5.7 billion.

Democrats have rebuffed that request, and negotiations have broken down.

But on Friday, when the shutdown becomes the longest in history, strategists say its effects will be felt in households nationwide.

So far, neither Democrats nor Trump have indicated they’ll budge when it comes to wall funding, though Trump has signaled at times he’s willing to accept less than $5 billion. The president this week threatened to declare a national emergency if a deal can’t be reached, a move that would enable him to invoke his emergency powers and redirect funding to build the wall without authorization from Congress.

Ford O’Connell, a longtime Republican strategist, noted that both sides are feeling the heat, but said it “behooves” Trump to continue to shine a spotlight on the need for border security.

“It’s one of these things where everyone is going to have skin in this game the second the first paycheck is missed, and then it’s going to become a battle of wills,” he said.

O’Connell said he expects Trump will hold firm in his demand for wall funding and predicted the shutdown could last until Trump delivers his State of the Union address Jan. 29.

Read more from Melissa Quinn at the Washington Examiner

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