Can this government shutdown last as long as the president says?

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – President Donald Trump said Friday he would keep the government shut down for “months” or even “years” if needed to get his way on border security. But is that even possible?

“He can try,” answered Tim Chambless, Associate Professor at the University of Utah. “It’s political suicide,” he added.

“To shut down a government costs money. And to bring it back up to operation costs money. This will potentially cost so much more than the $5 billion that the current occupant of the White House is asking for.”

ABC4 News also learned that President Trump is considering a nuclear option and his administration has drawn up a plan to declare a national emergency so the president can build the wall himself.

“The president is not a king. The president cannot act unilaterally,” Chambless said.

Chambless, who has been a professor of political science for decades, says this shutdown is unprecedented. 

“It’s much like a war, in which soldiers from both sides fight each other. But who dies? Who suffers the most? It’s the innocent civilians caught in between.”

Vice President Mike Pence has invited Congressional leaders for another meeting at the White House on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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Inside Utah Politics

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it's an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June, 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Chief Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Utah's only statewide political talk show, Inside Utah Politics Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Read More...

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