Trump Plans Southern Border Trip Amid Government Shutdown
Press secretary Sarah Sanders said president plans to meet with those on front lines; he'll speak to nation ahead of the visit
President Donald Trump is planning to make a trip to the southern border later this week amid the continued legislative standoff over border security funding, according to an announcement on Monday.
Before he leaves, he’ll also address the nation about the issue. That address will be from the Oval Office, Fox News reported on Monday afternoon.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in the announcement about the trip that the president plans to meet with those experiencing the issues on the southern border firsthand.
His trip comes as his administration and congressional leaders struggle to end the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico has become a main sticking point.
“President [Donald Trump] will travel to the southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis,” Sanders announced in a tweet Monday.
“More details will be announced soon.”
The partial government shutdown began with a border security dispute.
Trump has threatened to veto spending bills that don’t include $5.6 billion for the border wall to protect American security. Democratic leaders have been equally steadfast in their opposition to provide any funding for the wall.
The standoff led the government to shutdown on December 22.
Crowds of migrants — many claiming asylum — have arrived at the southern border in recent months. Many of them showed up as members of a series of migrant caravans.
Trump and his administration have attempted to keep them on the Mexican side of the border so authorities can process the claims without the migrants disappearing into the country.
President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 7, 2019
Trump also announced plans on Monday to deliver a primetime address to the nation on Tuesday night.
He said in a tweet that he will address the humanitarian and national security crisis on the southern border.
Trump and congressional leaders of both parties have continued discussions to overcome the funding stalemate.
They held two meetings over the past week and launched a task force over the weekend to try to resolve the issue as well. But despite the regular meetings, the two sides have been unable to overcome the impasse thus far.
Trump has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to funding the border wall since the partial government shutdown began. He held a press conference with Border Patrol officials to discuss that border walls work.
He also stressed the importance of border wall funding during a Cabinet discussion hours before he met with congressional leaders on January 2.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he wouldn’t bring up any bills the president wouldn’t sign. He had made earlier attempts to avert the government shutdown, such as a short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8.
But he later stopped when the president reaffirmed his veto threat.
House Democrats have made a few attempts of their own to end the shutdown since becoming the majority last Thursday, January 3.
House Democrats passed two bills intended to fund most of the government while leaving room to debate border security. They later announced plans to pass four separate appropriations bills.
But without border wall funding, they are unlikely to get far unless the president relents.
Congress was able to fund most of the government months earlier but was unable to get all of it done.
Lawmakers have also had to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for two weeks to avoid a shutdown on December 7. An earlier spending bill also included a continuing resolution that extended the original deadline on September 30.
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