In a speech to the nation, US President Donald Trump has once again urged the opposition Democrats to approve the billions he has requested for the construction of the border with Mexico. The barrier, for which Congress is to grant $ 5.7 billion, is „absolutely crucial“ for border security, Trump said in the Oval Office address last night (local time).
The US president, however, decided not to declare a national emergency because of the situation at the border – an option he had brought into play in recent days. By declaring a state of emergency, he could try to get billions for the wall, bypassing the congress. However, violent legal disputes would be expected for this approach.
In his first speech to the nation from the Oval Office, Trump once again spoke of a „growing humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border.“ The new „physical barrier“ at the border is something the border guards „want and need,“ he emphasized.
Resistance of the Democrats
His renewed demand for the billions for the wall was then rejected by the leaders of the Democrats rigorously. New House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the president of taking US citizens as „hostages“ for his wall project.
She was referring to the budget freeze since 22 December for a large part of the federal authorities, which is a direct effect of the dispute over the billions of dollars for the wall. Even after Trump’s speech, a solution in the bitter dispute over the federal budget and the border wall is still not in sight.