Trump plans prime-time address on border security

Trump plans prime-time address on border security

President Donald Trump, shown signing criminal justice reform legislation on 12/21/18 in the Oval Office (TMN/Pool photo)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will hold a prime-time address Tuesday night to draw attention to security along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that coincides with an impasse between the White House and Congressional Democrats over funds for a barrier between the two nations.

Trump has demanded $5.6 billion to fund the construction of a wall or barrier, while Democrats have countered with $1.3 billion for border security.

The president has declined to support efforts to continue funding the government until the issue is resolved, resulting in a partial government shutdown that has stretched into its 16th day on Monday.

The prime-time address represents the White House’s latest attempt to up the political pressure on Democratic lawmakers.

Officials across the administration have cast border security and the proposed barrier as a national security issue, invoking terrorism, drug smuggling and a myriad of other crimes to make their case.

On Thursday, Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexico border to “meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis,” according to a tweet from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Trump also has begun to raise the possibility of invoking a national emergency in a controversial attempt to construct the barrier without Congressional approval.

He has, however, said that he would prefer to move forward with support from the legislative branch.

An administration working group met with lawmakers and their teams over the weekend, but failed to come to an agreement that would fully fund the federal government, 25 percent of which is now hindered by the shutdown.

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