Pelosi and Schumer reply to Trump's border wall speech - in full

09 January, 2019, 06:38 | Author: Miranda Cannon
  • Trump seeks an edge in shutdown fight with TV address

US President Donald Trump has demanded funding for his long-promised US-Mexico border wall to halt "a growing humanitarian and security crisis".

In his first formal address from the Oval Office, Trump sought to pressure Democrats to agree to his request for $5.7 billion as a condition of ending the government shutdown.

US President Donald Trump wants the Democrats to approve funding for a wall to end a government shutdown. Such a step, however, would likely face an immediate legal challenge.

Mr Trump said an as-yet-unratified revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement would pay for the wall, a claim previously disputed by economists. But he made no mention of such a declaration on Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are going without pay, and government disruptions are hitting home with everyday Americans.

America would be "safer than every before" under the proposal, which includes "cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband and many other things", he said.

The number of illegal border crossings is down from 1.6 million in 2000 to less than 400,000 past year.

Mr Trump is backed by most of his party, though on Tuesday moderate Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined Democrats in calling for an end to the shutdown before the border wall issue was resolved.

The dispute over wall funding - Trump is demanding $5.7 billion United States to help build it - led to a stalemate in Congress over funding for parts of the government.

The White House has not said why the situation constitutes a national emergency.


"They don't do it because they hate the people on the outside".

Sources familiar with drafts of Trump's speech say he is unlikely to follow through on recent threats to declare a national emergency that would allow him to build the wall without Congressional approval. It could potentially unlock military dollars for building the wall.

"Now that the television networks have chose to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime", their statement read.

Democrats have said they support increased border security measures such as additional USA border agents and technology, but have rejected the administration's claims about the security risks at the border and have raised concerns that Trump will use his speech to present a false narrative.

Trump will continue pressing his case for the wall with a trip to the border on Thursday.

"This barrier is absolutely critical to border security".

"If his past statements are an indication, (the speech) will be full of malice and misinformation", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the senior Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement.

A National Park Service ranger looks out onto the city from Trump International Hotel's historic clock tower, which remains open and staffed by the National Park Service despite the partial government shutdown.

The unexpected length of the shutdown has raised the prospect that Trump would begin to lose support among Republicans anxious to reopen the government and doubtful of the White House strategy.

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