Trump Stands by Wall Money Demand as Democrats Plan New Funding Bills
Trump Stands by Wall Money Demand as Democrats Plan New Funding Bills
Trump could compromise over concrete wall on Mexico border, says top aide
07 January, 2019, 21:13
Mr Trump is trying to convince the Democrats to approve around $5bn (£3.95bn) to build the wall, which he says is vital to stop illegal immigrants and criminals entering the US.
Trump could indeed declare a national emergency, citing what the administration calls a "crisis" at the border, after almost 103,000 people were detained in October and November after entering the country illegally.
He has stuck by that financial demand - even after he said he would show flexibility on the wall being constructed out of steel instead of out of concrete.
Trump's recent remarks about a possible emergency declaration appear to reiterate remarks he made days ago at a January 4 open press conference in the Rose Garden.
"V.P. Mike Pence and group had a productive meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives today", Trump wrote. Trump spoke at length about the issue during a Rose Garden press conference with reporters on Friday and spoke to reporters twice on Sunday as he traveled to and from a staff meeting at Camp David.
Top Democrats say President Donald Trump would face legal and political challenges if he tries to declare a national emergency to build the border wall with Mexico. I will have them come up with a template or design of a lovely steel product, which we now may use and use that as our barrier, ' he said. During the Korean War in 1952, President Harry Truman sought to take over USA steel factories to keep them producing in the face of a planned national strike by industry workers.
"We have to build the wall", he said.
Trump is still digging in his heels, demanding billions for a border barrier that Democrats won't provide. "What we need is we need a strong border".
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In a letter to congressional leaders on Sunday detailing its funding demands, the Trump administration included a request for an additional US$800 million to address urgent humanitarian needs at the southern border.
But Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, seem in no mood to make concessions on a border wall Pelosi has described as an "immorality".
"Mr. President, can you relate to the pain of federal workers who can't pay their bills?" the journalist asked Trump as he stood outside the White House.
Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama said on Fox News that Trump has some "inherent powers" to bypass Congress, but that border funding must be done the right way, via legislation. "I think we're going to have some very serious talks come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday", he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in her first sit-down interview on network television since reclaiming the gavel last week, maintained that the goal of Saturday's meeting was to reopen the government and blamed Trump for the continued impasse.
Administration members Vice President Pence, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met with aides to congressional Democratic leaders on Saturday, but didn't reach any consensus.
The President has also claimed broad support overall for his border wall, even as support for the project has slipped.
Sunday is the 16th day of the ongoing partial government shutdown, which has affected nine cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies as well as the jobs and paychecks of some 800,000 federal employees.
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