President Donald Trump said he was holding off on declaring a state of emergency to end the partial US government shutdown that dragged into a 23rd day on Sunday.
The US President has insisted on $5.7 billion to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats opposed.
Asked by Fox News why he didn’t immediately declare a national emergency to secure the funds without congressional approval, Trump said he wanted to give opposition Democratic lawmakers more time to strike a deal.
“I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly,” he told Fox in an interview late Saturday.
The US government shutdown became the longest on record at midnight Friday when it overtook a 21-day stretch in 1995-1996 under president Bill Clinton.
Trump fired off a series of tweets Saturday in an effort to defend his stance and good Democrats to return to Washington and end what he called “the massive humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border.”
“Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes!” he said in one tweet, adding in another, “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!”
But most lawmakers left town on Friday and will not return before Monday, leaving little chance for any solution to the stalemate before then.