How to watch Trump's border wall speech and Pelosi-Schumer rebuttal on

09 January, 2019, 13:23 | Author: Jared Lewis

United States President Donald Trump summoned the nation's attention to the Oval Office on Tuesday (Jan 8) for a prime-time pronouncement on the border wall stand-off at the centre of the government shutdown. He was sure to face intense pushback from Democrats.

Mr Trump is backed by most of his party, though on Tuesday moderate Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined Democrats in calling for an end to the shutdown before the border wall issue was resolved.

Such an emergency declaration would represent a dramatic escalation of the dispute and would immediately draw legal challenges.

But Mr Trump felt he needed more than a string of Tweets to try to break the stalemate with Democrats in Congress who refuse to find the $5.7bn dollars which he has requested. He said precious lives were cut short repeatedly by those who have violated the borders. Schumer also suggested Trump was being childish. "That pickup ain't got reverse in it", he said.

Trump will visit the Capitol on Wednesday to meet with Senate Republicans, and has invited Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to return to the White House to meet with him later that day.

On Monday, the Trump administration agreed to let the IRS pay out tax refunds if the government shutdown extends into filing season. But now his self-proclaimed deal-making skills are being put to the test. This was not a national crisis speech, it was Trump using the Oval Office to find an emergency exit out of the soon-to-be longest US Govt shutdown in the last 50 years which is already the fourth-longest in history.

American democracy doesn't work that way.

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Democrats, who ended the Trump presidency's dominance of domestic politics when they seized the House of Representatives from his Republicans in November, cried foul before a word was spoken.

THE FACTS: Few would argue that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding, as the demand for entry by migrants and the Trump administration's hardline response to them are overwhelming border resources, further backlogging the asylum system and forcing migrants to live in abysmal conditions on the Mexican side of the border.

The number of people arrested trying to cross the border has dropped 75 per cent since its high in 2000.

According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, 51% of Americans believe Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants streamed across the border in 2018, a situation the president and some experts have deemed a crisis.

Emphasizing that he's not abandoning his security argument, Trump said in a fundraising email Tuesday: "I want to make one thing clear to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: Your safety is not a political game or a negotiation tactic!" This is something he loves doing in his raucous political rallies, there's no reason for Trump to hijack the most revered physical space in the 18 acres of the White House to whip up the American people with imagined crises coming from immigrant invaders threatening to degrade the country.

And yet after asking the television networks to clear their schedules so he could address the American people on the subject, Mr Trump nearly seemed reluctant to use the word. Over Caesar salad and iced tea, Trump projected confidence that his strategy was working, Fox News Channel's Bret Baier reported. They have consistently shown that the wall is highly unpopular with everyone other than Republicans. Majority are Canadians and Europeans.

In retaliation, Trump has refused to sign off on a broader spending bill, leaving some 800,000 federal employees and many more contractors without pay.

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