As US shutdown continues, President Trump switches to ‘steel barrier’

Toby Graves
January 8, 2019

Mulvaney said he had concluded that Democrats "think they are winning this battle politically and they're vehement because they think the president is paying a price politically". "But many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I'm doing", Mr. Trump said.

'Chuck, let me say: We've done fencing in the past, as you know, ' Hoyer said.

'Steel is actually more expensive than concrete but it'll look lovely and it's very strong. Congressional Democrats are refusing to pay for a wall. Ms Pelosi has called a border wall immoral.

The National Emergencies Act requires the president to notify Congress when an emergency is declared and to list the powers that are being invoked.

Democratic staffers asked administration officials to lay out in formal detail the funding request for the border - including its specific security requests, what the money would be used for, and what in the Homeland Security budget the administration would cut to make the numbers work, The Washington Post reported. "And it's been that way for decades, and we can't have it anymore", Trump said. "What we need is we need a strong border".

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not show his hand when asked whether the White House offer to move away from a concrete structure was evidence of compromise.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press", set to air Sunday, Mulvaney argued that the administration was willing to deal.

Vice President Mike Pence is leading a second round of talks with congressional aides on Sunday about the issue, but Trump said he did not expect those talks to produce results. The president later tweeted that he planned to go to his retreat at Camp David, Maryland, on Sunday morning to discuss borders security and other topics with senior staff in a meeting separate from the negotiations.

Museums are among the attractions closed because of the shutdown
Image Museums are among the attractions closed because of the shutdown

Shanahan said the approximately 2,300 active-duty troops in California, Texas and Arizona to back up CBP are focusing on the "restoration of fences" and "building out additional mileage for the wall" that Trump has proposed as the solution to halt illegal immigration and drug trafficking. And Trump has threatened to drag on the shutdown for months or even years if he does not get funding for the border wall.

But Democrats have said there was no movement in the talks.

It seems President Trump has listened. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said on CBS' "Face the Nation".

Mr. Trump will give a prime-time address to the nation Tuesday night about his demands for funding for a border barrier, a proposal that Democrats reject outright. About 800,000 government workers have been either furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown.

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. "I'm not making this up".

"This is national security we're talking about", he said on Friday.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would begin considering individual appropriations bills this week that would reopen the government, starting with legislation that would return workers to the Treasury Department, including the IRS, followed by measures to open the departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and the Interior. As the National Park Service announced Sunday that it would start using money from park entrance fees to cover costs during the shutdown, some Democrats said that was not allowed under federal law. "Not the other way around", he said.

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