Trump moves step closer to US state of emergency
TAKING the shutdown fight to the Mexican border, President Donald Trump has edged closer to declaring a national emergency to end an extraordinary run around Congress to fund his long-promised border wall.
Pressure was mounting to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, cutting scattered services and leaving thousands of workers without pay.
Trump (above) visited McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande yesterday to highlight what he says is a crisis of drugs and crime. He said “if for any reason we don’t get this going” – an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall – “I will declare a national emergency”.
About 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, were to miss their first paycheck yesterday under the stoppage as Washington edged closer to setting a record for the longest government shutdown in history.
Those markers – along with growing effects to national parks, food inspections and the economy overall – left some Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s demands.
Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt badly “for people that have family members that have been killed” by criminals from over the border.