Trump holds firm on border wall, offers steel option as compromise

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The U.S. Capitol is seen as the partial government shutdown lurches into a third week with President Donald Trump standing firm in his border wall funding demands, in Washington, Jan. 7, 2019.

"If Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this president doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion-dollar wall on the border". Such a move would seem certain to draw legal challenges.

USA president says he has weighed using emergency powers, but prefers reaching a negotiated agreement with congressional lawmakers. She said details would be announced soon.

While Trump was headed to Camp David, Pence was scheduled to meet again with congressional leadership staff on Sunday afternoon.


Trump said Sunday that if Democrats are willing to make a deal, one could be reached "in 20 minutes if they want to". Sanders, for example, falsely claimed on Sunday that "nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally", even though the overwhelming majority of those individuals are blocked from entering the United States at airports.

Negotiations have been at an impasse over Trump's demands for $5.6bn to fund the border wall. "I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?" In his announcement speech during that election, Trump had promised that "I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively".

A day earlier, the president had tweeted that he didn't care, adding that "most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats".

"So we're going to be doing a steel barrier, and that gives us great strength at the border", he said. Trump has been talking at least since mid-December about building a wall made up of "artistically designed steel slats" instead of concrete, but he seized on the idea Sunday to a new degree. Speaker Pelosi, in 1996, voted for the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), a bill that authorized 14 miles of triple layer border fence - which has become the modern border wall south of San Diego And Senator Schumer gave a glowing endorsement of the border control components of the 2013 Gang of Eight bill, calling the plan "a breathtaking show of force that will discourage future waves of illegal immigration".


Representatives from the White House and from Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill did meet on the White House grounds Saturday and Sunday, but that yielded little progress. Meanwhile, ethics groups raised their eyebrows at one National Park Service post which remained fully staffed in Washington - which is located in the Trump International Hotel just blocks from the White House. Democrats familiar with the meeting said the White House position was "untenable".

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a White House Cabinet meeting last Wednesday that she needs more assistance to cope with what she called a border "crisis". Some border security officials said they agree with his demand for a wall. Democrats say the wall is expensive and inefficient, as well as contrary to American values.

"That should help us move in the right direction", said Mulvaney, who is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget.

He paints the Mexico border as an open gate for criminals, including rapists, terrorists, people with unsafe diseases and phony asylum seekers.


Opposition Democrats have blocked funding for the wall, but offered $1.3 billion in new spending for border security. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall". Mexico has refused. He's now demanding the money from Congress.

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