Donald Trump to meet with Democrats over government shutdown

Adjust Comment Print

"I informed my folks to say that we'll build a steel barrier", Trump told reporters after returning to the White House from a senior staff meeting at Camp David, Maryland.

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.

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.

Trump's demand for billions for the barrier has forced a partial government shutdown that is now in its third week. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in new border security funding, but nothing for a wall. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat-New York, suggested pressure would only mount amid the shutdown, which he said is disrupting Transportation Security Administration operations, home loans and farmers in his state. "I think that's by intention", he said. The source said Democratic staff repeatedly urged the administration and Republicans to reopen the government, but their requests were rejected.

In a tweet, Trump sought to put a positive spin on the ongoing negotiations, describing them as "productive" and declaring that "we are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete".

Accusations flew after the more than two-hour session led by Vice President Mike Pence.

More discussions are planned for Sunday. If we give him the time, he'll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. "It'll be less obtrusive and it'll be stronger". 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 USA air travel.

Washington Democrat Adam Smith, the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Trump has the authority to declare an emergency and have the United States military build the wall but that such an action would likely be challenged and would be a bad use of defense spending.

Smith, D-Wash., had actually made the comments on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, but they were replayed Monday on Fox News "Fox & Friends" shortly before Trump tweeted.

More news: Netherlands warns of toxic chemicals after containers tossed from cargo ship
More news: National Hockey League announces locations for 2019-20 outdoor games and 2020 All-Star weekend
More news: Democratic Sen. Warren takes step to challenge Trump in 2020

Trump said that he would consider a deal that involved protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients, but indicated that he preferred to wait until the Supreme Court ruled on the issue.

Democratic US Senator Dick Durbin reacted coolly to Mr Trump's suggestion of declaring a national emergency.

"Look, if Harry Truman couldn't nationalise the steel industry during wartime, this president doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion-dollar wall on the border", said Schiff, Democrat-California.

The vice president said Mr. Trump is still considering declaring a national emergency to fund the wall unilaterally. "So that's a non-starter".

Later in the afternoon, Trump told reporters, "We're looking at a national emergency because we have a national emergency". In a small gesture to Democrats, it said the president wanted $800 million "to address urgent humanitarian needs", including enhanced medical treatment.

"We just can't afford to do business that way", Schiff explained.

Several federal judges have held that the Trump administration's reasons for terminating DACA were legally insufficient under a federal administrative law statute, which requires adequate notice and justification before the government terminates a right it has previously granted.

Trump's allies say he is simply keeping a longstanding campaign promise and they frame his focus on his base as a smart strategy, since he will need to energize those supporters for his re-election campaign.

Comments