US president: No emergency declaration – yet
President Donald Trump said he was holding off on declaring a state of emergency to end the partial US government shutdown that dragged into a 23rd day yesterday, as he insisted on $5.7 billion (Bt181.2 billion) to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats oppose.
Asked by Fox News why he didn’t immediately declare a national emergency to secure the funds without congressional approval, Trump said he wanted to give opposition Democratic lawmakers more time to strike a deal.
“I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly,” he told Fox in an interview late on Saturday.
The US government shutdown became the longest on record at midnight Friday, when it overtook a 21-day stretch in 1995-1996 under then president Bill Clinton.
Trump fired off a series of tweets on Saturday in an effort to defend his stance and goad Democrats to return to Washington and end what he called “the massive humanitarian crisis at our southern border”.
“Democrats could solve the shutdown in 15 minutes!” he said in one tweet, adding in another, “We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!”
The impasse has paralyzed Washington – its impact felt increasingly around the country – with the president refusing to sign off on budgets for swathes of government departments unrelated to the dispute. As a result, 800,000 federal employees – including FBI agents, air traffic controllers and museum staff – received no paychecks on Friday.
Often called a rising star in the Democratic Party, Castro, who was Obama’s housing secretary – and the youngest member of that cabinet – is expected to be part of a diverse field of candidates eager to challenge President Donald Trump.
Castro said San Antonio, a city that is nearly two thirds Hispanic, “represents America’s future: diverse, fast-growing, optimistic”.
“Yes, we must have border security, but there is a smart and humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging children is keeping us safe,” Castro said.
“We say no to building a wall and say yes to building community,” he added, to roars from the crowd.
“There is a crisis today – it’s a crisis of leadership. Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation,” Castro said.
Urging his supporters to look around the blue-collar neighbourhood where he grew up, Castro said, “There are no frontrunners that are born here, but... with big dreams and hard work, anything is possible in this country.”