How to watch Trump's border wall speech and Pelosi-Schumer rebuttal on

Danny Woods
January 9, 2019

But critics say the security risks are overblown and his administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.

US President Donald Trump has talked of a growing humanitarian crisis at the southern border and has called on Congress to fund the wall. For weeks he has dug in on a signature campaign promise to his base voters, the pledge to build an impregnable "beautiful" wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Trump's address came 18 days into a partial government shutdown precipitated by his demand for wall construction, which he has said is needed to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs.

"Now that the television networks have made a decision to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime", their statement read.

Democrats have said they support increased border security measures such as additional US border agents and technology, but have rejected the administration's claims about the security risks at the border and have raised concerns that Trump will use his speech to present a false narrative. But mostly Trump still wants his wall, which Democrats describe as immoral as well as no solution to illegal immigration.

He said he could relate to the workers who would have trouble paying bills because of the shutdown but threatened, again, to declare a national emergency as an alternative way to build the wall.

(According to the Toronto Star, the USA president had made almost 4,000 false claims as of December 5 for an average of 5.8 per day.) Recently, the White House has been trying to justify funding a wall on the notion that there is a new crisis at the southern border, when in fact the number of people trying to cross the border has been in decline for nearly two decades.

The White House requested eight minutes to make Trump's case on television. Trump is refusing to accept any Congress proposal to fund the government that does not include the money he is demanding for the wall. It was just one of several measures to combat the "crisis" at the border.

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"This barrier is absolutely critical to border security".

"The border wall would pay for itself".

Pelosi said on Tuesday night in the rebuttal that "we all agree that we need to secure our borders".

Mr Trump did not use his televised speech to declare a national emergency.

During the campaigning he pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, but since taking office he has been unable to achieve this, and is now attempting to use United States taxpayer funds to the tune of US$5.7 billion (NZ$8.5b).

Sen John Thune of South Dakota, the GOP whip, said he doesn't think the emergency declaration is the right move and "I prefer that we get this resolved the old-fashioned way".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also accused Mr Trump of trying to "govern by temper tantrum" and of manufacturing a crisis.

She noted that the House passed legislation to reopen government on the first day of the new Congress.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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