Across 5 tweets, Trump makes a meandering case for border wall funding


Across 5 tweets, Trump makes a meandering case for border wall funding

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday made a meandering plea for border wall funding just hours in advance of a high-stakes meeting with Democratic congressional leaders as a deadline approaches next week to reach a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown.Across five morning tweets, Trump touted the efforts of his administration to deter illegal border crossings, praising Border Patrol officers and the military for doing a “FANTASTIC job” and claiming “Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way.”Yet Trump argued that the “Great Wall” he repeatedly promised on the campaign trail would be “a far easier & less expensive solution,” and he accused Democrats of resisting his efforts “for strictly political reasons.”Trump also threatened that if Democrats don’t provide necessary votes to build the wall, “the Military will build the remaining sections.” He did not elaborate on how that effort would be funded.The president’s tweets came as he prepared to meet at the White House late Tuesday morning with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.The Democrats plan to offer Trump $1.3 billion in funding for a border fence, far short of the $5 billion Trump is demanding to fund portions of a border wall that he long claimed Mexico would pay for.“I look forward to my meeting with Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said in his tweets, in which he also falsely claimed that Democrats “want Open Borders for anyone to come in” and added: “This brings large scale crime and disease.”If no spending deal is reached by the end of next week, funding will run out for the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies. Those agencies, making up about 25 percent of the federal government, are operating on a short-term spending bill Congress passed last week to move the shutdown deadline.Tuesday’s late-morning meeting will be the first gathering of Trump, Schumer and Pelosi ahead of the shutdown deadline. In recent weeks the two sides have increasingly dug in, and it’s not clear where compromise might lie.In his tweets, Trump alluded to a political challenge facing Pelosi as she strives to become House speaker next month. To shore up support among fellow Democrats, she is not expected to give much ground to Trump. In recent days, she has called his sought-after wall “immoral.”“They will fight it at all cost, and Nancy must get votes for Speaker,” Trump wrote. “But the Wall will get built.”In his tweets, Trump significantly exaggerated progress to date on the wall.For instance, he said that his administration had “already built large new sections” of the “Great Wall” he promised and that “people do not yet realize how much of the Wall, including really effective renovation, has already been built.”An omnibus appropriations bill in March included only about $1.6 billion of the $25 billion he originally sought for border protection and restricted money from being spent on newer wall designs by his administration.Congress did allow replacement of some existing fencing and some construction of additional fencing, including levee fencing in the Rio Grande Valley.Trump’s claim that the Southern border is now secure comes as Homeland Security agencies have published statistics in recent weeks that they say are indicators of a “crisis” at the border, particularly as more Central American parents arrive with children and turn themselves in to U.S. agents.The number of people arrested or denied entry along the Mexico border reached a new high for the Trump presidency in November, according to Homeland Security figures.U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained 25,172 members of “family units” in November, the highest number ever recorded, as well as 5,283 “unaccompanied minors.” Combined, those two groups accounted for nearly 60 percent of all border arrests in November.Overall, CBP arrested or denied entry to 62,456 border-crossers in November, up from 60,772 in October.
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Across 5 tweets, Trump makes a meandering case for border wall funding

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