During an extensive interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity along the U.S. -Mexico border Thursday, President Donald Trump suggested that freshmen Democrats are beginning to show signs of doubt when it comes to resisting his desired wall along the southern border.
Lawmakers tried to reassure federal employees that Congress was aware of the financial hardship they are enduring.
A last-ditch, long-shot effort to broker compromise in the Senate also appeared to stall out on Thursday.
- The House has voted to ensure that all federal employees will be paid retroactively after the partial government shutdown ends.
Of course, this met two immediate obstacles: Trump, who said "I want a guaranteed wall", and Nancy Pelosi, who said, "there will be no wall".
"Mitch is not going to put anything on the floor the president isn't going to sign", he said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny "100 percent".
In Washington, federal workers denounced Trump at a rally with congressional Democrats, demanding he reopen the government so they can get back to work.
The emergency funds had been set aside for California in the wake of devastating wildfires that tore through 1.8 million acres in the state this year, as well as Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida as they continue to recover from 2017 and 2018's hurricanes and prepare for similar storms in the coming years. That's according to a congressional aide and administration official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. "Siphoning funding from real disasters to pay for a crisis manufactured by the president is wholly unacceptable and the American people won't fall for it".
The White House is working to identify federal dollars that could be redirected to construct a border wall, if President Trump invokes his emergency powers to do so. Like almost all drugs trafficked across the border, they were intercepted by agents at official ports of entry, he was told, and not in the remote areas where he wants to extend tall barriers.
He has the right to undertake a construction project of this scale in times of war and national emergency, usually by allocating funds from the department of defence.