Trump expected to declare national emergency to build wall

Donald Trump is expected to declare a national emergency in order to build a long awaited wall on the Southern border of the United States. This comes as the government shutdown reaches its 18th day.

The President has arranged for a televised address, his first of the administration, for 9pm on Tuesday (2am Wednesday GMT). Trump will attempt to persuade the public on the benefits of building a wall on the US-Mexico border.

Trump and the White House have been searching for a way to bypass congress and implement a $5.7bn (£4.5bn) spending plan for the wall without their approval, as they have already rejected the plan.

Trump used the wall as a signature pledge during his election campaign, and said that he would make Mexico pay for it. However, his demand was not met by the Mexican government, and Trump took the government into shutdown to find funds to pay for themselves.

So far 800,000 public sector staff are currently without pay, and have been since before Christmas.

Trump is looking to secure funding of $5.7bn, but has previously admitted that it could cost $10bn (£7.8bn) if it isn’t made “super-duper”, whilst other estimates put the cost at almost $25bn (16.6bn).

House speaker Nancy Pelosi and top senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called on US networks to give Democrats a chance to respond to Mr Trump’s presidential Oval Office speech.

“Now that the television networks have decided to air the president’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.”

On Thursday, President Trump will pay a visit to the US border with Mexico, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeting that he will “meet with those on the frontlines”.

Any move to declare a national emergency would prove controversial and is likely draw legal challenges.

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