US President Donald Trump has put on a fast food feast at the White House, blaming the partial government shutdown for the lack of catering staff.
He welcomed the winners of the national college football championship, the Clemson Tigers, with more than 300 burgers as well as fries and pizzas.
“Because of the shutdown… we went out and we ordered American fast food paid for by me,” he told reporters.
Much of the federal government is out of operation because of the shutdown.
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It has affected an estimated 800,000 public sector workers, including White House residence staff, who have been on mandatory leave or working without pay for a record 24 days.
President Trump is refusing to approve a federal budget unless it includes funds for a wall along the Mexican border, but Democrats have rejected his request for $5.7bn (£4.5bn).
About a quarter of the federal government will remain closed and employees such as air traffic controllers and Secret Service agents will continue to work without pay until a spending plan is agreed.
|On the 19th day, the president pounded a table|
|President Trump’s frustration boiled over as a partial government shutdown in the U.S. lurched into its 19th day. He stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders after Speaker Nancy Pelosi again said she would not fund a wall on the southern border even if he agreed to reopen the government.|
|Democrats accused the president of throwing a “temper tantrum,” while Mr. Trump dismissed the meeting on Twitter as “a total waste of time.” Democrats have been emphasizing the costs of the shutdown — farmers missing crop payments, national parks trashed — rather than delving into the question of a barrier.|
The breakdown came just two days before some 800,000 federal workers will miss their paychecks, spreading financial pain to families across the country. Far from a compromise to end the standoff, Trump heads to the US-Mexico border in Texas on Thursday to rally support for building a wall, the central issue in the standoff.
Trump may bolster his base with a trip to the border but he’s unlikely to sway the Democrats he needs to secure the $5.7 billion to build the wall—a key campaign promise