Trump Voices New Determination for a Border Wall
U.S. President Donald Trump voiced new determination Thursday to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico, saying it would get "done one way or the other," even if lawmakers don't give him the money to construct it.
Trump, in a string of Twitter comments on the barrier, contended that Republicans on a congressional committee considering funding for border security "are wasting their time" because opposition Democrats "despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL."
But he told Republicans not to worry: "I’ve got you covered. Wall is already being built, I don’t expect much help!"
A bipartisan congressional panel opened talks Wednesday over border security and Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall in a dispute that led to the longest-ever 35-day partial government shutdown that ended last week. A Trump agreement with Congress to reopen the government until Feb. 15 gives lawmakers about two more weeks to reach agreement on border security funding.
Trump Warns Congressional Negotiators to Consider Border Wall Funding
Democrats appear willing to agree to Trump's demand for the $5.7 billion in border security funding, such as for tightened controls at ports of entry and increased use of technology to monitor the border. But as the talks started, Democrats offered no money for Trump's wall.
Trump, as he often has, claimed erroneously that "Large sections of WALL have already been built with much more either under construction or ready to go." The U.S. has been repairing existing barriers, which Trump called "a very big part of the plan to finally, after many decades, properly Secure Our Border. The Wall is getting done one way or the other!"
Trump has threatened a new government shutdown if Congress does not give him the wall funding he wants or said he also might declare a national emergency and build the wall without congressional authorization, using untapped government funds.
At various times, Trump has called the barriers at the border an impenetrable concrete wall, and other times "steel slats," or a see-through barrier, even "peaches," if people preferred.
But on Thursday, Trump said, "Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!"
He claimed that Mexico's soaring murder rate was reason enough to build the wall.
"Very sadly, Murder cases in Mexico in 2018 rose 33% from 2017, to 33,341. This is a big contributor to the Humanitarian Crises taking place on our Southern Border and then spreading throughout our Country. Worse even than Afghanistan. Much caused by DRUGS."
He said that with the record Mexican murder rate, "why wouldn’t any sane person want to build a Wall!"