Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump visits border to make case for $5.7 billion in wall funding

Trump visits border to make case for $5.7 billion in wall funding

"I mean, we have the absolute right to declare a national emergency", he said.

"I just don't see a pathway forward", said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, who said it was time for Trump to declare a national emergency.

The president said his lawyers have advised him "100 percent" that he can fund his border wall via a national emergency declaration.

President Donald Trump again threatened to declare a national emergency if he doesn't get a wall to fix a made-up national security crisis occurring at the country's southwestern border.

Not only does this contradict statements of that very ilk that Trump often exclaimed during his 2016 presidential campaign, it comes at the same time the president is facing mounting pressure for the ongoing federal government shutdown, instigated over his demands for money for the wall. "We shouldn't have to", Trump told reporters. Trump says he won't reopen the government without money for the wall.

Trump used the backdrop of the Rio Grande border river at McAllen, Texas, to ramp up what has already turned into a hugely messy political fight with Democratic opponents, resulting in the shutdown of swaths of the United States government.

The impasse between the president and Congress over the funding bill has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay, and a quarter of the federal government closed down.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt bad "for people that have family members that have been killed" by criminals who came over the border.

Wednesday's dramatic showdown between Donald Trump and Democratic leaders and the president's defiant PR trip to the border the following day seemed to confirm observers' fears: a breakthrough in negotiations to end one of the longest shutdowns in U.S. history is far from imminent. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!" The president is requesting Congress to approve $5.7 billion to help fulfill a campaign promise to build a wall along the US southern border.

The president also said he will not go to the global conference in Davos, Switzerland, later this month if the shutdown continues. To that end, White House officials in recent days have pointed to remarks by Schumer during the Obama administration endorsing lawmakers' allocation of funds for border fencing.

Democrats, the president exclaimed, "don't give a damn" about crime, or people coming into the country and stabbing Americans.

NBC News, in a similar report, said Trump had been briefed on the plan involving the Army Corps while flying to the border on Thursday.

Critics argue that, if the deal does go into effect, funds would be absorbed by private enterprises instead of the government - a direct refutation of Trump's claim, according to Politico. The President hasn't been blamed in any of the previous shutdowns. While border patrol agents there expressed support for a border wall or barrier, the border patrol agent in charge showed an image of a tunnel illegal immigrants had carved - under a wall.

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