President Donald Trump will address the public on Tuesday from the Oval Office to make an argument in favor of building the long-sought wall and justify closing parts of the government over it.
President Trump will also travel to the southern border two days later amid efforts to convince the public that the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border amounts to a national security crisis, another argument he has repeatedly used to make his case for building the barrier.
Such a move indicates that the stalemated negotiations to reopen the government will almost certainly remain deadlocked for at least a few more days. Both sides insist that their demands be met in order for a deal to be made to end the partial shutdown.
Democrats, on their part, insist that while parts of the government remain closed, there cannot be substantive talks about the President’s demand for border wall funding. The Democratic-controlled House will begin passing individual appropriations bills this week for the affected agencies as they seek to build pressure on Trump, The Hill reports.
Last week, the House voted on a bill to reopen the Department of Homeland Security and other parts of the government, with several Republican lawmakers backing the legislation. Vice President Mike Pence will visit House GOP lawmakers Tuesday to prevent defections as Democrats map out votes on reopening the government.
Meanwhile, Trump appears not to be in a hurry to end the partial government shutdown, while trying to portray Democrats as weak on border security.
“The White House knows the longer they can shine a spotlight on this issue, the better they can make their case,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.
The vice president and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters Monday that President Trump will not abandon his demand for $5 billion funding for a wall, as well as that he blamed Democrats for refusing to negotiate.
“The proposal we put forward yesterday, we think, represents our effort to incorporate their proposals into things that we’re willing to support. But the Democrats have got to start negotiating,” said Pence.