Trump moves step closer to US state of emer­gency

The Weekend Post - - World -

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.

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