NEW YORK, Jan 09 (APP):US President Donald Trump on Tuesday night made a strong plea for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, while blaming Democrats for the prolonged government shutdown that has resulted from an impasse over how to pay for the project.But, in making that plea during a televised address from the Oval Office, he avoided talk of declaring a national emergency that would allow him to start building the wall without congressional authorization.
In his nine-minute speech, Trump sought to pressure Democrats to agree to his request for $5.7 billion as a condition of ending the government shutdown. He also tried to ramp up support among Republicans who are getting nervous about government workers and others who are feeling the pain of the shutdown.
The president said there was a “humanitarian and national security crisis” at the southern border, adding that all Americans had been hurt by illegal immigration.
“This barrier is absolutely critical to border security,” Trump said. “This is just common sense. This is a choice between right and wrong, between justice and injustice.”
The US president pointed the finger of blame at congressional democrats for the partial government shutdown which has caused political turmoil in Washington for nearly three weeks over disagreement on funding the construction of a border wall.
Trump stressed that the only solution to resolve the deadlock was for democrats to pass a spending bill which would include funding for a border wall with Mexico.In their televised response, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said Trump is using fear to try and achieve his wall at the expense of people who rely on government services. "President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government," said Pelosi, the new House of Representatives Speaker.Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said, "We don’t govern by temper tantrum," and "no president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage."Despite the rhetoric, Trump and congressional leaders from both parties agreed to meet Wednesday for more negotiations.
The US president said that law enforcement needed the money to build border fence, which he claimed would stop the influx of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants to the country.
Meanwhile, results of a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday showed 51 percent of Americans believe Trump deserves most of the blame for the shutdown, up 4 percentage points from last month.
Roughly one-third said congressional Democrats were to blame and 7 percent blamed congressional Republicans.