‘No chaos at White House, but me nearly alone with a plan’

Pauline Gross
January 13, 2019

President Donald Trump closed off the only live negotiation on Capitol Hill to resolve the partial federal government shutdown, now poised to become the longest in USA history, just as about 800,000 federal workers are set to miss their first paycheques.

Nancy Pelosi, newly re-elected House of Representatives Speaker, responded to Trump's Oval Office speech by saying, 'The fact is: President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government'.

Later on Saturday, in a telephone interview with Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro, the president said if the Democrats "don't come to their senses" he would declare a national emergency to free up money for his wall without congressional approval.

Some 800,000 federal employees, more than half still on the job, missed their first paycheck under a stoppage that tied a record for the longest government shutdown.

In place of an olive branch to the Democrats, Trump has offered insults and accusations, and on Wednesday stormed out of a meeting with congressional leaders that he called at the White House.

"Replacing more visible rights harms with - potentially - less visible ones is not a good answer", St. Vincent said.

Trump has been counseled by outside advisers to move toward a national emergency declaration, but many in the White House are trying to pump the brakes.

Trump described an emergency declaration as the "easy way out" and said Congress had to step up to the responsibility of approving the $5.7 billion he says is needed. Trump has refused to sign any government budget unless it has the funds. A person familiar with White House thinking said that in meetings this past week, the message was that the administration is in no rush and wants to consider various options.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said at one point that he didn't "see a path in Congress" to end the shutdown, then stated later that enough was enough: "It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier".

However, on Friday he said he would not declare an emergency for now, preferring Congress to act. "Shame on the White House", he told the crowd.

Trump is growing more frustrated as the shutdown drags on and is complaining that his aides are not offering him an exit strategy. Jared Kushner was among those opposed to the declaration, arguing to his father-in-law that pursuing a broader immigration deal was a better option. The person was unauthorized to discuss private sessions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

President Trump appears poised to declare the situation at the border a national emergency.

In December, he tweeted that migrant caravans from Central America were not able to enter the country thanks to "our newly built Walls, makeshift Walls & Fences, or Border Patrol Officers & Military", adding that "our Southern Border is now secure and will remain that way".

The investigation became a part of special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump election campaign.

"We're either going to have a win, make a compromise, because I think a compromise is a win for everybody, or I will declare a national emergency", he said. 'This is a big diversion, and he's a master of diversion, ' she told reporters. It would allow him to tap unspent Defense dollars to pay for construction.

President Barack Obama stunned Republicans when he bypassed Congress and used executive powers to enact parts of his agenda. "But those same conservatives, I'm sure if it's deployed, would embrace him as having done all he could do to negotiate with Democrats". Independents fix the blame squarely on the president and his party rather than on the Democrats, by 53 percent to 23 percent.

Other reports by GizPress

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