Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter that President Donald Trump “will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.”
Trump tweeted that he will address the nation on Tuesday night.
The announcement comes as the government shutdown entered its 17th day as Democrats and Trump butt heads over funding for the wall.
President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 7, 2019
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
The visit will come on the 20th day of the shutdown. Most agencies ran out of funds by December 22:
Last week, House Democrats proposed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees construction of the wall, at current levels through Feb. 8, with $1.3 billion for border security—a figure far less than Trump requested. Senate Republicans so far have not taken it up.
The president told congressional Democratic leaders during a meeting on Friday that he was willing to keep the government shutdown for as long as necessary — possibly months or even years — in order to get the funding he wants.
Trump wants $5.7 billion for a wall. After numerous meetings this past weekend, he “gave his strongest endorsement yet of a proposal to build a steel wall, rather than a concrete barrier, at the southern border.”
Trump considered that move a concession to the Democrats. He told reporters that the Democrats “don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel.”
Kemberlee noted in her Friday blog about the Friday meeting that Trump has considered “declaring a state of emergency, which would allow him access to DOD funds with which he could begin construction his big, beautiful wall.”
USA Today reported Trump has also weighed these options:
– Talked about using what he called “the military version of eminent domain” to seize private land for border wall construction. Conservative Republicans have long criticized the government’s use of eminent domain, and backed high-profile lawsuits to restrict its use.
– Said he would consider asking Vice President Mike Pence and other executive branch officials to forgo planned pay raises while the shutdown is in place.
Trump maintained that he wants $5.6 billion for border security and wall funding, and dismissed proposed compromises ranging from $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion.
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