Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

President Trump tweets he's waiting for Democrats

President Trump tweets he's waiting for Democrats

President Donald Trump said he was holding off on declaring a state of emergency to end the partial USA government shutdown that dragged into a 23rd day on Sunday (Jan 13), as he insisted on US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats oppose. One powerful Republican ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, tweeted after talks with Trump: "Mr. President, Declare a national emergency NOW".

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also has insisted that Trump end the shutdown first before any negotiating takes place.

The House and Senate have voted to ensure that all federal employees will be paid retroactively after the partial government shutdown ends.

"Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are nearly there, I would urge them to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug (to) see if we can get a deal", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday".

"I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time, like three weeks, before he pulls the plug. You know the politicians say, "they'll never pay" - 100 percent", Trump said. "I hope it works". Supporters have tried to convince him that an emergency declaration is the best option to end the shutdown and would give him political cover to reopen the government without appearing to be caving on his pledge.

"Just as you fight every day to keep our nation safe, this president and this administration will keep fighting to build the wall and give you the resources and reforms you need to do your job", Pence told several dozen unformed agents. Chris Coons, D-Del., called Graham's idea for a brief reopening of the government a "great place to start".

Trump has repeatedly described the situation at the Mexico border as a "humanitarian crisis" as speculation has increased this week that he would circumvent Congress to begin building his signature wall - a move that would be sure to draw a court challenge from Democrats who say the barrier would be barbaric and ineffective.

The percentage of those who support the US-Mexico border wall has reached an all-time high, according to a new poll from ABC News and The Washington Post.

Trump has maintained that the border can not be secured without a wall. A group of Republican senators were trying to forge a deal to pair wall funding with legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, often known as Dreamers. Pelosi also has shown no interest in accepting a wall - she has called it an "immorality" - in exchange for immigration fixes.

Both houses of Congress adjourned Friday for the weekend; lawmakers are due back in Washington next week.

Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters after discussions with the White House: "I feel confident disaster relief dollars will not be tapped". The proportion of TSA workers on unscheduled leave on Saturday was 5.6 percent, compared with 3.3 percent on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, TSA spokesman Michael Bilello said in a tweet. The White House has contended that Democrats are refusing to negotiate, while Democrats accuse Trump of forcing government workers to go unpaid as leverage to get $5.7 billion for a wall that voters don't want. Democrats have said they would support $1.6 billion for more general border security, but not specifically for a wall. Trump should stick to his guns and his campaign promise and get the wall built however long the shutdown lasts.

CNN said their poll was conducted by via landline and cell phones with a random sample of 848 American adults.

"It's the last option, not the first option, but we're pretty close to that being the only option", Graham said of an emergency declaration.

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