Trump says wall can be a steel fence

Andrew Cummings
January 7, 2019

Trump showed no signs of budging on his demand for more than $5 billion for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, though on Sunday he did offer to build it with steel rather than concrete, a concession Democrats panned.

"If Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this president doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion-dollar wall on the border". But that stance carries considerable risk.

The idea has not gained traction with the Democrats so far.

His new chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said earlier he expected the shutdown to "drag on a lot longer". Some suggested that Trump's true believers aren't even interested in a negotiated compromise. Pres. Trump:"I can relate...". Ms Pelosi has called a border wall immoral.

The standoff has morphed from a debate over how to stem illegal immigration to a powerplay between the president and a Democratic Party enjoying control of the House of Representatives following their victory in November's midterm legislative elections. And his unreliable maneuvers have only aggravated the situation. "It's been done a number of times, '" Trump tweeted.

Adding to concerns, federal workers might miss this week's paychecks.

The president described the situation at the border with Mexico as a "crisis".

Trump's fitful style is hardly a surprise.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has been looking at "every option available" to get the needed money, and she says Trump will do "whatever it takes to protect our borders".

The Senate had actually reached bipartisan agreement on a budget but Mr Trump then refused to back it, demanding the funding for the wall. House Democrats plan to vote on a series of four spending bills later this week, which would end the shutdown.

That measure was also under House consideration but Trump on December 20 reversed course and rejected it under pressure from ultraconservative lawmakers and media personalities.

The letter includes a request for $800 million for "urgent humanitarian needs", a reflection of the growing anxiety over migrants traveling to the border - which the White House said Democrats raised in the meetings. And because of that, it's happening even more so.

If there has been a constant, in fact, it is the mixed messaging. The working group was established after two contentious meetings between Trump and congressional leaders at the White House last week.

The move would allow the president to obtain military funding and resources to build the wall. The president warned it's "more expensive" than concrete, but "it will look lovely".

Trump told reporters the steel barrier would "give us great strength". And he claimed, without evidence, that some ex-presidents had told him to push for the wall. And a trade clash with China that has rattled world markets has yet to be resolved.

The wall was one of Mr Trump's key campaign pledges and he had said Mexico would pay for it, something Mexico has never agreed to.

Vice President Mike Pence held a meeting with congressional leadership staff on Sunday afternoon, but after the meeting there was little indication they were getting close to a deal to reopen the government.

"There's no requirement that this government be shut down while we deliberate the future of any barrier, whether it's a fence or a wall", Sen.

Other reports by iNewsToday