Trump backs down over border wall

Trump backs down over border wall

Late a year ago, Senate Democrats had appeared to be willing to allow $1.6 billion in border wall money but retreated from that after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn't accept it. The speech comes after Trump began his third year in office last month during a partial government shutdown that ended only after the president set a February 15 ultimatum to get his wall - with a threat to declare a national emergency if he is rebuffed. "I mean, it is a combination of things but it does include a wall and I know that's hard for the speaker to say", Kennedy said.

One early excerpt of the speech released by the White House: "Together we can break decades of political stalemate; we can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future. The decision is ours to make", Trump will say.

"The chant should be now, finish the wall", Trump said.

"I really think it's going to be a speech that's going to cover a lot of territory, but part of it's going to be unity", Trump told reporters this week. "You'll hear the State of the Union, and let's see what happens".

A senior administration official said Friday that Trump will speak on five areas: immigration, infrastructure, drug pricing, trade and global diplomacy.

The president hinted Friday that he might make the controversial announcement during the State of the Union speech as he spoke to reporters about wall that had already been built on the border. That pact is meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump called unfair to American workers.

"She is doing a bad disservice to our country", the United States president said. Trump has signaled that a peace deal would allow the United States to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after 17 years of war triggered by the September 11, 2001, attacks.

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"I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what she's doing and, ultimately, I think I've set the table very nicely", Mr. Trump said on Thursday in a wide ranging interview with The New York Times, referring to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Democrats also intend to send a message with their guests, bringing along federal workers who were affected by the government shutdown as well as Victorina Morales, an immigrant from Guatemala who was in the US illegally and who had worked for Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump reached a deal with Democrats on January 25 to reopen the government for three weeks so that lawmakers can negotiate a deal that includes funds for a border wall-the president's landmark campaign promise.

Trump said at a White House event that he might declare such an emergency because it did not appear that Democrats in Congress were moving toward a deal that would provide the money he wants to help fund the wall, which Democrats broadly oppose. Trump has said the wall is needed to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking. "The totality of the speech will address it because in some ways, he will offer a vision forward".

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

Officials were quick to caution that the speech remains a work in progress and stressed that Trump will tinker with it until the final moments.

A defense official confirmed that the Pentagon was sending 3,500 additional active-duty troops to the border, for a total of 5,800 active-duty troops and 2,300 National Guard troops supporting the Department of Homeland Security's request for additional border security.

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