Trump Demands US Border Wall, Sidesteps Declaring Emergency

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump urged Congress on Tuesday to give him $5.7 billion this year to help build a wall on the border with Mexico, but stopped short of declaring a national emergency that could have led to unilaterally funding the project.

Facing Democratic opposition in Congress to a wall, Trump said in a prime-time televised speech that there was a growing security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

But after days of hinting that he might use his presidential powers to declare an emergency as a first step toward directing money for the wall without congressional approval, Trump appeared to be willing instead to continue seeking a solution to the impasse with Congress.

Watch: 

Trump is scheduled to visit the southwest border on Thursday and it was not clear whether he still might choose to make the national emergency declaration.

Trump’s remarks came 18 days into a partial government shutdown precipitated by his demand for wall construction, which he has said is needed to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a televised address to the nation from his desk in the Oval Office about immigration and the southern U.S. border on the 18th day of a partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Pool

Democrats and other opponents of a border wall had threatened to take legal action if Trump issued the order, arguing that he is manufacturing a crisis to carry out his 2016 presidential campaign promise for a wall that he said at the time would be paid for by Mexico. The Mexican government has refused to provide such funds.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Alex Alper, Ginger Gibson, Patricia Zengerle and Mike Stone in Washington, Richard Valdmanis in Boston and Kenneth Li and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Writing by Alistair Bell and Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Rocky Drummond
Member

Of the three main political responses to Trump’s plea, Chuck & Diane looked passive and like two deer caught in headlights. They didn’t make much of a case which could move the needle. Sanders was the only one who was passionate and put the shutdown in human terms.

WellHungChad
Member

It’s not likely that the Democrats will agree. They’ll push for Trump to.set the precedent of national emergency so they can use it some time in the future for something stupid like “globull warming” or some other hair brained emergency.. it’s obvious that the Democrats don’t want to negotiate this win with Trump, even though they voted to approve a wall and $48 billion back in 2008. 10x what Trump is requesting, but who’s counting?

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