President Trump visits border wall prototypes in San Diego on Feb. 13, 2018. (Jetta Disco/CBP photo)

Trump to Travel to Southern Border, Will Deliver National Primetime Address Tuesday

President Trump will travel to the border with Mexico this week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter on Monday. The trip comes as Congress and the White House deliberate a solution to end a partial government shutdown that has left more than 800,000 federal employees without pay since the deadline to fund the government expired at midnight on Dec. 22.

Trump, who is slated to give a 9 p.m. address to the nation regarding the border wall on Tuesday, said last week that he would be willing to let the government shutdown continue for months and even years until he receives funding to build a steel barrier. The White House had not yet released the specific agenda for his trip.

Over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence led a delegation of administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in talks with Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. The White House website prominently displays the message “Now is the Time to Finally Secure the Border,” and links to President Trump’s recently penned letter to Congress breaking down the issue with a presentation by Nielsen.

In the meantime, the newly led Democratic House Committee on Homeland Security has asked Nielsen to testify on the administration’s “failed border security agenda.

Both sides appear dead-set against caving in, as the president plans to visit the border on Thursday. The shutdown severely impacts thousands of employees of the Department of Homeland Security, who continue to work without pay. “Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing,” Trump told reporters Sunday.

SEE: Here’s How the Government Shutdown Affects the Department of Homeland Security
MORE: Here’s How the Government Shutdown Affects U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 

Multimedia journalist James Cullum is Managing Editor of Homeland Security Today's Federal Pages. He has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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