Trump to visit US-Mexico border amid shutdown stalemate

08 January, 2019, 01:35 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Donald Trump warns shutdown 'could last years'

The letter from Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought also formalized Trump's declaration that the wall would be built from steel, rather than concrete, asking for funding for a "steel barrier on the Southwest border".

The visit comes amid the continuing partial government shutdown and the President's insistence that any funding bill to reopen federal agencies include US$5.7 billion for his border wall.

Mr Trump was "willing to take the concrete wall off the table", Mr Mulvaney told NBC.

"I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, 'Where's the emergency?' " Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told ABC.

Maryland's Democratic senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, meanwhile, on Sunday called for not taking up any legislation not related to ending the shutdown.

But Democrats have said there was no movement in the talks.

"It'll be discussed", he said on NBC.

He tells reporters as he departs the White House for meetings at Camp David that he'll be asking the companies to design "a handsome steel product" and "we'll use that as our barrier".

But he said Mr. Trump hasn't made a decision on that option.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter that Mr Trump would make a trip to the border on Thursday (local time) and said details would be released soon.


After a round of staff-level talks Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that the session had been "productive", only to have Trump later tweet: "Not much headway made today".

Trump asserted that he could relate to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who aren't getting paid, though he acknowledged they will have to "make adjustments" to deal with the shutdown shortfall.

Trump said on Sunday that he should not have to lower his demand for $5.6 billion, though he said he understood the impact the impasse was having on affected federal workers struggling to pay their bills. "Democrats need to start negotiating", Pence urged.

"We've been in touch with a lot of people, and I informed my folks to say that we'll build a steel barrier".

The shutdown, which is threatening to become the longest in US history, is affecting about 800,000 federal workers, many of whom will soon miss their first paycheck, and has curtailed the functions of numerous government agencies.

The Democrat-controlled House passed spending bills that would fund the government agencies that have shut down until September 30, and Homeland Security until February 8, giving the parties time to negotiate border security. "So we are damned if we do and damned if we don't", an unidentified "TV exec" said in a text to the cable network.

But Trump and his top officials have also pointed to misleading statistics to suggest terrorists are attempting to enter the United States through the southern border. She has long argued against them and tried to broker resolutions to past stalemates.

"The impression you get from the president (is) that he would like to not only close government, build a wall, but also abolish Congress so the only voice that mattered was his own", Pelosi told Jane Pauley in the interview, which aired on CBS News' "Sunday Morning".

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not show his hand when asked whether the White House offer to move away from a concrete structure was evidence of compromise.

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