The president, Donald Trump, visited the southern border with Mexico today to emphasize the “need” to build a wall on the border between the two nations, in the midst of a closure that has kept part of the Administration closed for 20 days.
Since last December 22, Trump has insisted on including funds for the construction of the border barrier in federal budgets, a proposal that has clashed head-on with the new Democratic majority in the lower house.
Given this situation, the president has weighed the idea of declaring a national emergency to have the possibility of reallocating military funds for the construction of the wall, a threat he repeated today in the border area with Mexico.
“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency, I should not get to declare it because this is common sense. (…) We need a wall,” Trump said in statements to reporters in the border town of McAllen (Texas) .
Trump’s plan to finance the wall through an executive order, which was initially seen as a radical measure among Republicans, has begun to garner support among members of his party, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the most influential. in the Upper House.
“It’s time for President Trump to use the national emergency powers to finance the construction of a border wall, and I hope it works,” Graham said in a statement.
One of Graham’s colleagues in the Senate, the leader of the Republican majority in that chamber, Mitch McConnell, today blocked the Democratic proposals of the House to reopen the Administration.
“The last thing we have to do now is a meaningless exchange,” McConnell said in the Senate, referring to a vote on some packages of laws that Republicans have already warned they would not approve.
The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives approved last week two legislative proposals that consist of six bills to finance the whole year 2019 of about 25% of the Administration and one that would grant funds to the Department of Homeland Security until the 8th. February.
These measures extended the funds for border fences and other measures in 1.300 million dollars, far from the 5.600 million ordered by Trump.
Questioned today about whether Mexico will pay for the wall, Trump argued that “never” has said that the Aztec country “write a check” to pay for the construction of the wall, despite repeated repeatedly that the neighboring country would finance border protection.
The electoral campaign of Trump described in April 2016 the steps that the then candidate would take to force Mexico to pay between 5,000 and 10,000 million dollars to finance the wall.
That supposed plan was largely based on threatening to prohibit remittances from Mexicans living in the United States to their relatives in the Aztec country, unless the Mexican executive paid a sum for the wall.
The Government of Trump faces from the 22 of December the closing of 25% of the Administration, situation that affects some 800,000 employees who have stopped receiving their salary and has disrupted the operation of different tourist spaces or the activities of agencies to which they have not been assigned new resources.
Thousands of these workers protested today in different cities to demand the end of the administrative closure, including a demonstration in front of the White House.
“Thousands of hard-working Americans are being excluded from their jobs for no other reason than the politics of fear – shame on the Senate! Shame on the White House!” Exclaimed Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO. largest union platform in the country, before hundreds of public employees concentrated in Washington.
Few advances have occurred in the last 20 days, since neither Trump nor the Democrats have ceded territory in the negotiations and it is expected that the administrative closure could last several more weeks. (EFEUSA) .-