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.
President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon.
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) January 7, 2019
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.
Now that the television networks have decided to air @realDonaldTrump’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 8, 2019