As a government shutdown stretches into its third week and Democrats refuse to fund the president’s promised border wall, President Trump will address the nation on Tuesday evening to persuade Americans that a “humanitarian and security crisis” on the southern border looms without the wall.
The primetime address, which will be the first of Trump’s presidency, is slated to last approximately eight minutes, raises the stakes of the president’s standoff with Congress over border wall funding to one of the biggest moments of Trump’s presidency.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern,” Trump tweeted on Monday.
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
After takes to the airwaves at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday evening, he will highlight border security by traveling to the U.S. Mexico border on Thursday. His plans to travel to the border were first announced by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon,” Sanders tweeted.
President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 7, 2019
The government shutdown on Dec. 22, after Senate Democrats refused to support a House-passed government funding bill that would allocate more than $5 billion in funding for the wall. The then-GOP-lead House passed the measure as its last act before Democrats gained control of the lower chamber of Congress. Yet, Senate Democrats prevented the bill from reaching the required 60-vote threshold.
The impasse resulted in a funding lapse, causing a partial government shutdown, which has become the second-longest breakdown in government funding in the nation’s history, affecting about 800,000 federal workers, many of whom will miss their first paycheck this week.
Democrats passed a funding measures without allocating money for the border wall after they took over the House of Representatives on Jan. 3. The White House Office of Management and Budget has threatened to veto bills.
The president told congressional Democratic leaders during a meeting on Friday that he was willing to keep the government shutdown for as long as necessary — possibly months or even years — in order to get the funding he wants.
Trump said Sunday he is seriously considering declaring a full-blown national emergency national emergency imminently to secure money for his border wall. That would allow him to build a wall without congressional approval, a move that Democrats are already vowing to fight.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are slated a rebuttal to Trump’s primetime address Tuesday evening.