All Major Networks to Air President Trump’s Address to the Nation
09 January, 2019, 06:40 | Author: Alicia Barber
Tomorrow the president meets with his party members at the Capitol.
In an eight-minute address on Tuesday night carried live by all the major USA television networks, Mr Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats. But Trump has not budged on his demands for $5.7 billion in wall funding, and Democrats have not moved from their opposition, while many Republicans watch anxiously from the sidelines.
Negotiations on wall funding could proceed in the meantime, they said. It could potentially unlock military dollars for building the wall.
Before the speech, Trump dispatched Vice-President Mike Pence to Capitol Hill, where he urged House Republicans to "stand strong" in support and said the White House wants to negotiate, according to people familiar with the conversation.
But with many Americans far from sold on Trump's lurid claims about illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists overwhelming the border, the speech faces its own high barrier: credibility.
The government shutdown has reached its 17th day, making it the third-longest shutdown in United States history.
In recent days, Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has also seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall. About a quarter of USA agencies have been shut down since last month and hundreds of thousands of government workers are likely to miss paycheques this week.
"The president was asked whether it [the national emergency option] is something he was considering, and he said it is something we are looking at...."
While its repercussions ripple across the country, Mr Trump has also threatened to bypass Congress and invoke emergency powers to build the wall along half the 2,000-mile (3,100km) border. Critics say the security risks are overblown and the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.
America would be "safer than every before" under the proposal, which includes "cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband and many other things", he said.
The California congresswoman added: "And the fact is: President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government".
The number of illegal border crossings is down from 1.6 million in 2000 to fewer than 400,000 a year ago.
Democrats have said they support increased border security measures such as additional US border agents and technology, but have rejected the administration's claims about the security risks at the border and have raised concerns that Trump will use his speech to present a false narrative.
Mrs Pelosi accused Mr Trump of being "full of misinformation and even malice", and choosing fear over facts.
Some two dozen Republicans are expected to cross over this week and vote for the Democratic bills to re-open government, said a GOP aide who was not authorized to speak publicly. Some 800,000 federal employees have been temporarily laid off - or forced to work without pay.
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