The standoff between Donald Trump and America's Democratic party has led to the longest government shutdown in US history — it's now on day 24 with no end in sight.

On Monday Trump showed no sign of capitulating, rejecting a suggestion by Republican senator Lindsay Graham that would allow federal employees to get paid.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after signing a bill requiring that all government workers receive retroactive pay after the shutdown ends. But when will that be? Photo / AP
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after signing a bill requiring that all government workers receive retroactive pay after the shutdown ends. But when will that be? Photo / AP

Senator Graham encouraged Trump to reopen the government and continue negotiating with Democrats over the wall Trump wants to build on the US-Mexico border.

If there's no deal at the end of that time, Graham says Trump would be free to take the more dramatic step of declaring a national emergency to build it.

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But the president quickly shut it down.

"That was a suggestion that Lindsey made, but I did reject it," Trump told reporters outside the White House on Monday morning (local time).

"I'm not interested. I want to get it solved. I don't want to just delay it. I want to get it solved."

Targeting Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump tweeted that the shutdown "has become their, and the Democrats, fault!" But Trump weeks ago asserted that he would "own" the shutdown and polls show that people mostly think that he is to blame.

According to a poll by CNN, 55 per cent say he is more responsible for the shutdown than the Democrats, while 32 per cent say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats.

Trump has kept Washington on edge over whether he would resort to declaring a national state of emergency over the border wall, which is the reason for the government shutdown.

Citing what he says is a "crisis" of drug smuggling and the trafficking of women and children at the border, Trump initially sounded as though such a move was imminent, but now says he prefers a legislative solution.

Trump tweeted on Monday morning that
Trump tweeted on Monday morning that "Nancy [Pelosi] and Cryin' Chuck [Schumer] were responsible for the government shutdown dragging on and on. Photo / AP

Democrats oppose an emergency declaration but may be powerless to block it.

Some Republicans are wary, too, fearing how a future Democratic president might use that authority.

Such a move, should Trump ultimately go that route, would almost certainly be challenged in the courts.