Trump not planning to invoke emergency powers over border wall: report
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. President Donald Trump does not plan to invoke emergency powers over what he calls a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border during a televised speech later on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed senior White House official.
Trump, who is to make his case for funds to build a border wall in the speech, is considering an emergency declaration, which could get him out of an impasse with congressional Democrats that has led to a partial government shutdown.
The Post said: “A senior White House official with knowledge of the speech said the plan is not to call for a national emergency but to further build a public case for the wall.”
Vice-President Mike Pence declined to comment on whether Trump would declare an emergency during an interview with CBS This Morning, saying the president would use the time to make his case for the wall.
“When the president addresses the nation tonight, he’ll be laying out the facts to the American people of what is a genuine humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” Pence said.
Pence said the number of people spilling over the U.S.-Mexico border is simply “overwhelming” officials. He cites human trafficking, drug smuggling and migrants with criminal histories as additional concerns compounding the problem.
“We have a crisis and we have to address it, and the time has come for the Democrats to come to the table and start negotiating, not just to end the partial government shutdown but to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” Pence said.
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The U.S. government has been partially shut down since Dec. 21, with Democrats at odds with Trump over $5 billion in funding for a border wall with Mexico. The shutdown has caused some national museums and parks to go partially staffed or to close, while some workers who are deemed essential — such as TSA agents — are forced to work without pay.
Trump is set to make a prime-time address to the nation at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday to address the situation, and hopefully, garner support for his wall.
—Reporting by Tim Ahmann, writing by Mohammad Zargham, editing by Steve Orlofsky. With files from Global News.
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