Trump plans border visit as shutdown lurches into 3rd week

With no breakthrough in sight to end the partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump plans a Tuesday night address to the nation and a Thursday visit the U.S.-Mexico border to highlight his demands for a border wall.

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 3:45 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — With no breakthrough in sight to end the partial government shutdown, President Donald Trump plans a Tuesday night address to the nation and a Thursday visit the U.S.-Mexico border to highlight his demands for a border wall. Newly empowered House Democrats — and at least a few Republican senators — are stepping up pressure on Trump and GOP lawmakers to reopen the government.

Trump said he would discuss the “Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border” at 9 p.m. EST. He maintains that more than $5 billion for a wall is necessary to secure the border. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Monday that Trump will use the visit to “meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.”

As the shutdown lurched into a third week, many Republicans watched nervously from the sidelines as hundreds of thousands of federal workers went without pay and government disruptions hit the lives of ordinary Americans.

Trump has offered to build the barrier with steel rather than concrete, billing that as a concession to Democrats’ objections to a solid wall. They “don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel,” he has said.

But the Democrats have made clear they see a wall as immoral and ineffective and prefer other types of border security funded at already agreed-upon levels.

White House officials affirmed Trump’s funding request in a letter to Capitol Hill after a meeting Sunday with senior congressional aides led by Vice President Mike Pence at the White House complex yielded little progress. The letter from Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought sought funding for a “steel barrier on the Southwest border.”

The White House said the letter, as well as details provided during the meeting, sought to answer Democrats’ questions about the funding request. Democrats, though, said the administration still failed to provide a full budget of how it would spend the billions requested for the wall from Congress. Trump campaigned on a promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico has refused.

The administration letter includes a request for $800 million for “urgent humanitarian needs,” a reflection of the growing anxiety over migrants traveling to the border — which the White House said Democrats raised in the meetings. And it repeats some existing funding requests for detention beds and security officers, which have already been panned by Congress and would likely find resistance among House Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to begin passing individual bills to reopen agencies in the coming days, starting with the Treasury Department to ensure Americans receive their tax refunds. That effort is designed to squeeze Senate Republicans, some of whom are growing increasingly anxious about the extended shutdown.

Among the Republicans expressing concern was Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should take up bills from the Democratic-led House.

“Let’s get those reopened while the negotiations continue,” Collins said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Adding to concerns, federal workers might miss this week’s paychecks. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that if the shutdown continues into Tuesday, “then payroll will not go out as originally planned on Friday night.”

Over the weekend, the federal agency tasked with guaranteeing U.S. airport security acknowledged an increase in the number of its employees calling off work. But Trump and the Department of Homeland Security pushed back on any suggestion that the call-outs represented a “sickout” that was having a significant effect on U.S. air travel.

At the White House, on Monday, spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp complained that Democratic leaders have yet to define what they mean when they say they are for enhancing border security.

“Democrats want to secure the border? Great. Come to the table,” she said. “We are willing to come to a deal to reopen the government.”

Trump reaffirmed that he would consider declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress and spend money as he saw fit. Such a move would seem certain to draw legal challenges.

Incoming House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., said on ABC’s “This Week” that the executive power has been used to build military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan but would likely be “wide open” to a court challenge for a border wall. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called the idea a “nonstarter.”

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.

___

Associated Press writer Julie Walker in New York, Jill Colvin and Kevin Freking in Washington, and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 64°
Robinson
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 61°
Indianapolis
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 63°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 64°
Marshall
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 64°
More Clouds Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1343875

Reported Deaths: 24410
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook5380959996
DuPage893431270
Will74435981
Lake66368977
Kane57580768
Winnebago32526469
Madison30250518
McHenry28156284
St. Clair27650510
Peoria22686297
Champaign20373144
Sangamon18437233
McLean17818175
Tazewell16675277
Rock Island14720306
Kankakee13954207
Kendall1282791
LaSalle12286239
Macon10575194
DeKalb9728119
Vermilion9366131
Adams8345120
Williamson7340128
Whiteside7100166
Boone661671
Ogle601480
Grundy579771
Clinton574190
Coles564494
Knox5484139
Jackson495663
Henry487963
Livingston475184
Effingham470672
Stephenson466881
Macoupin466081
Woodford465474
Marion4447115
Franklin439872
Monroe434791
Jefferson4232119
Randolph411984
Lee410552
Morgan384180
Fulton382251
Logan381657
Montgomery368773
Bureau365882
Christian362073
Fayette315855
Perry314159
Iroquois296465
McDonough276345
Jersey268349
Douglas257435
Saline255153
Lawrence239925
Shelby227737
Union224240
Crawford210826
Bond201924
Cass197524
Jo Daviess179824
Pike178451
Clark178032
Warren177846
Wayne175852
Ford175446
Hancock174231
Richland173640
Carroll173536
White168726
Edgar168339
Washington163525
Moultrie159726
Clay148243
Mason147944
Piatt145814
De Witt145424
Mercer143833
Greene143233
Johnson141214
Wabash134212
Massac132940
Cumberland128819
Menard121512
Jasper114818
Marshall103218
Hamilton82915
Schuyler7305
Brown6996
Pulaski6837
Stark63023
Edwards56712
Henderson52214
Calhoun5152
Scott4761
Putnam4733
Alexander46511
Gallatin4574
Hardin38312
Pope3144
Out of IL70
Unassigned02344

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413