Trump says Senate GOP is 'totally unified' behind him

By John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez | Washington Submit

WASHINGTON – Within the wake of President Donald Trump nationally televised plea for his long-promised border wall, each he and Democratic congressional leaders are digging in Wednesday because the partial authorities shutdown continues with no sign of ending.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Chief Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., staged an occasion with furloughed federal staff, and lawmakers from the Washington space sought to spotlight the destructive influence of the shutdown with union leaders.

Each side targeted on making their instances, because the 19th day of the shutdown continued.

Trump emerged from his assembly with Senate Republicans on the Capitol and declared that the social gathering is “totally unified” on protecting the federal government partially shuttered till a deal on a border wall is reached.

“There was no discussion of anything other than solidarity,” Trump advised reporters, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell , R-Ky., and different Senate Republicans.

However Trump muddied his message on the state of affairs on the border, claiming on the one hand that the nation faces a disaster whereas on the opposite saying the variety of border apprehensions has declined in recent times on account of his personal management.

“You know why it’s gone down? Because of good management. Because of me,” Trump informed reporters.

He maintained that a barrier on the border is crucial, however specifying not “a little barrier that doesn’t work.” The greater than $5 billion Trump has demanded from Congress would solely construct about 200 miles of wall, nevertheless, removed from sufficient to cowl the complete 2,000-mile size of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The motorcades of Trump and Pence arrived on Capitol Hill, and the 2 males strode up the steps into the Senate aspect of the constructing.

As he walked inside, Trump was requested by a reporter how lengthy he would let the shutdown final.

“Whatever it takes,” he responded.

Trump detailed his standards for declaring a nationwide emergency, saying that the “threshold” is whether or not he and Congress are capable of make a deal on wall funding.

“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t, we might go that route,” Trump stated within the Oval Workplace, sustaining that he has the “absolute right” to declare an emergency.

Authorized specialists are divided on whether or not Trump can declare an emergency and start constructing the wall.

At a bill-signing occasion on Wednesday, Trump additionally declared, “This is not a fight I wanted. I didn’t want this fight.” That was a unique message than the one the president delivered final month, when he stated that he was “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Trump additionally heaped reward on furloughed staff, calling them “terrific patriots” and repeating his declare that they help him shutting down the federal government over the border wall.

“They’re all going to get their money, and I think they’re going to be happy. … You take a look at social media. So many of those people are saying, ‘It’s very hard for me. It’s very hard for my family. But Mr. President, you’re doing the right thing,’ ” Trump stated.

And he stood by his demand for a wall, arguing that “a drone isn’t stopping a thousand people running through” the border.

“They say it’s a medieval solution. It’s true. It’s medieval because it worked then” and continues to work now, Trump stated.

At a bill-signing ceremony within the Oval Workplace on Wednesday afternoon, Trump as soon as once more raised the prospect of taking unilateral motion if Congress doesn’t give him the $5.7 billion he has demanded for the border wall.

“We’re all working together. I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together,” Trump stated after signing the invoice, an anti-human-trafficking measure. “Otherwise, we’ll go about it in a different manner.”

“I don’t think we’ll have to do that,” he added, however he stated that it was nonetheless a risk.

Trump reiterated that border safety is a “big problem.”

“We’re doing very well except for the border,” he stated.

Earlier, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, wrote a letter to Trump urging him to finish the shutdown, arguing that it is hampering the state’s restoration efforts after Hurricane Florence and threatening its agricultural business.

“During your visit following Hurricane Florence, you promised me the 100% support of the federal government in North Carolina’s recovery,” Cooper stated within the letter. “This shutdown makes that promise harder to keep. Please work with Congressional leaders to end this shutdown so our communities can rebuild quickly and effectively.”

Pelosi on Wednesday accused Trump of getting “chosen a wall over workers” as she and Schumer staged a information convention with furloughed federal staff.

“The people behind me represent the real human collateral damage of President Trump’s shutdown,” Schumer stated on the occasion. “To use them as hostages through a temper tantrum by the president, it’s just so wrong. It’s so unfair. It’s so mean-spirited. And it ought to end now.”

“My message to President Trump and my Republican colleagues is simple: Our federal workers just want to do their jobs. It’s time that you do yours,” Schumer stated.

He stated that he didn’t assume Trump had “persuaded a soul” with the tackle he delivered Tuesday night time from the Oval Workplace touting the necessity for a wall.

Pelosi additionally panned Trump’s tackle.

“The president last night spouted more malice and misinformation, appealing to fear instead of facts,” she stated.

Democratic lawmakers from the Washington space held a information convention Wednesday morning to emphasise the impression of the shutdown on federal staff, lots of whom reside within the area.

“The shutdown is a negative, stupid, uncalled for, unnecessary, people-affecting crisis,” Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer, D-Md., stated.

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., decried Trump’s demand for a border wall that Connolly stated was not justified by “racist, bigoted, xenophobic rhetoric we heard last night from the president of the United States.”

Connolly referred to as Trump’s tackle “one of the most sordid moments in the history of the Oval Office, mimicking alt-right bigotry as a justification for shutting down the government.”

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., additionally took purpose at Trump.

“We need a leader, we don’t need a demagogue in the White House,” he stated. “We need a president, we don’t need a grandstander. And so, Mr. President, we beseech you, open the government.”

White Home counselor Kellyanne Conway predicted Wednesday there might be defective polling in coming days displaying that Trump’s Oval Workplace handle didn’t influence People’ views on the necessity for a border wall.

“I know there will be some phony-baloney polling question constructions . . . to show that it didn’t move the needle,” stated Conway, who labored as a pollster earlier than turning into Trump’s marketing campaign supervisor in 2016.

Conway stated that in her view, Trump’s handle did shift the nationwide debate. She stated it is going to be essential to take a look at how polling questions are framed.

Following a gathering of the Democratic caucus Wednesday, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., stated the partial authorities shutdown was the results of a “presidential temper tantrum” and that Democrats aren’t prepared to “waste taxpayer dollars on a medieval wall.”

“No one outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thinks this is effective,” stated Jeffries, the Democratic caucus chairman, referring to the tackle of the White Home.

Jeffries spoke at certainly one of a number of information conferences Democrats have scheduled for Wednesday as they proceed to press their case for resisting Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding.

He additionally predicted that extra Republicans will be a part of with Democrats in voting for laws to reopen shuttered authorities businesses.

“We expect that with each passing day, additional Republicans in the House, as well as Senate Republicans, will publicly express their objection to keeping the government shut down,” Jeffries stated. “Last week we had about four or five House Republicans join us. We expect that the number will cross into double figures today and as the week proceeds.”

Throughout a Senate flooring speech, Schumer targeted on the hardships for federal staff due to the partial authorities shutdown, saying they’re “suffering needlessly” due to Trump’s unwillingness to relent from his demand for border wall funding.

Many staff are about to overlook a paycheck and danger ruining credit score scores that they’ve labored onerous to take care of, Schumer stated.

“They are innocent victims of the Trump shutdown,” he stated. “President Trump, are you proud to own a shutdown that’s hurting so many innocent people?”

Schumer urged Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to simply accept laws that might reopen authorities departments and to persuade Trump to signal it.

McConnell referred to as Trump’s request for wall funding “eminently reasonable” and accused Democrats of contracting a “new partisan allergy” to frame safety.

In a flooring speech Wednesday, McConnell ticked off previous statements of help from outstanding Democrats, together with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, for border fencing and different obstacles and famous that Pelosi is now calling a border wall “immoral.”

“From badly needed to immoral in little more than the span of presidency,” McConnell stated. “My Democratic friends wanted fencing and physical barriers in the recent past . . . The only thing that has changed between then and now is the occupant of the White House.”

McConnell stated Democrats ought to transfer previous what he characterised as “purely partisan spite.”

Trump weighed in on the shutdown for the primary time Wednesday with a tweet asserting the nation is doing properly “in so many ways” but nonetheless wants to deal with border safety.

Because the partial U.S. authorities shutdown dragged into its 19th day, Fitch Scores warned Wednesday that an prolonged shutdown may injury the nation’s Triple-A credit standing if lawmakers are unable to move a finances or handle the debt ceiling.

Shortly after Trump took his struggle for the wall to prime-time TV, Fitch’s international head of sovereign scores, James McCormack, stated that the nation’s mounting debt is weighing on the USA and that the federal government can’t grapple with the rising debt degree throughout a shutdown.

White Home press secretary Sarah Sanders stated Wednesday that Trump is nonetheless contemplating declaring a nationwide emergency that might permit him to direct the army to construct a border wall with out congressional consent.

“It’s something we’re still looking at, something that’s certainly still on the table,” Sanders advised reporters on the White Home.

She added, nevertheless, that “the best solution is to be able to work with Congress to get this get done.”

In current days, the White Home has been taking a look at an emergency declaration, although Trump made no point out of it in his Oval Workplace handle on Tuesday.

Democrats have stated they might take courtroom motion to attempt to block the transfer. Some Republicans have additionally spoken out towards the technique, saying they don’t need to see funds diverted from present army development tasks.

Home Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., on Wednesday provided an optimistic view – a rarity on Capitol Hill proper now – concerning the finish of the shutdown.

“I think we’re very close to a deal,” Clyburn stated throughout an look on CNN.

His evaluation comes as Home Democrats plan to move spending payments reopening elements of presidency unrelated to frame safety. The transfer is meant to place strain on the Republican-led Senate to behave, which McConnell thus far has resisted.

“I think in the not-too-distant future the Senate will act, and the president will respond in an appropriate way,” Clyburn stated.

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