US pres­i­dent: No emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion – yet

The Nation - - WORLD -

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.