POTUS Donald Trump said Sunday that talks between the White House and representatives for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. to reopen shuttered government agencies made progress, but that issues remained regarding his proposed border barrier, noting issues could be “solved in 20 minutes” if Dem leaders wanted.
The president sent out a tweet Sunday evening:
“V.P. Mike Pence and group had a productive meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives today. Many details of Border Security were discussed. We are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete. It is both stronger & less obtrusive. Good solution, and made in the U.S.A.”
V.P. Mike Pence and group had a productive meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives today. Many details of Border Security were discussed. We are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete. It is both stronger & less obtrusive. Good solution, and made in the U.S.A.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2019
In addressing reporters, POTUS noted that the composition of the wall had changed.
“We’ve been in touch with a lot of people and I informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier, steel, that it will be made out of steel, that it will be less obtrusive and stronger,” he said.
He added that the compromise was made to appease Democrats who “don’t like concrete.”
“They don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel,” the president said, adding that the material will look “beautiful” and be “stronger” than concrete.
That said, The New York Times is reporting that Democrats are not moved by the change in wall composition.
POTUS defended his position, however, stating that he was elected in large part on his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as a means of addressing out-of-control illegal immigration and drug smuggling, which is feeding into an opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S.
“I don’t like doing this. I have no fun doing this. I was elected to protect our country. That’s what I’m doing,” he said.
“This shutdown can end tomorrow. It’s really dependent on the Democrats,” Trump added, noting “Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and myself could solve this in 20 minutes if they want to. If they don’t want to it’s going to go on for a long time.”
When he was asked how furloughed government workers feel about the current shutdown, the president suggested that many were on his side.
“I’m sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do, and they’ll make adjustments,” POTUS noted.
“People understand exactly what’s going on. But many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing.” Trump urged.
The Border Patrol’s union leadership is on board with the president, as they noted last week during an appearance with Trump at a White House presser.
The president also repeated a previous threat to declare a national emergency to get funding for at least some of the wall, though Democrats are arguing that he has no legal authority to do so under those circumstances.
No doubt there would be lawsuits filed by Left-wing groups in friendly courts, but no doubt the White House is aware of that and prepared to defend the president’s declaration.
That said, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Service Committee, admitted Sunday that the president does indeed have the authority to use the U.S. military to build the border wall.
“There is a provision in the law that says the president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times, but primarily it’s been done to build facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq and in this case, I think the president would be wide-open to a court challenge saying, ‘Where’s the emergency?’” Smith said.
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