The Latest: Hoyer says Trump holding government ‘hostage’
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the partial government shutdown (all times local):
The No. 2 House Democrat is blaming President Donald Trump for the partial government shutdown and says Trump is holding the government “hostage.” Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer says Tuesday that “in another context, we would call that an act of kidnapping or terrorism.”
Hoyer says it would be akin to an imposition of martial law if Trump declares a national emergency in order to unilaterally build a Southwest border wall. He says Trump doesn’t have that authority and doing that “certainly could” be an abuse of power.
Hoyer compares it to other governments “declaring martial law and justifying them in doing whatever they want to do.”
Democrats are refusing to give Trump $5.7 billion to build the wall. The impasse has led to a partial government shutdown, now in its third week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will give the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s remarks to the nation Tuesday on his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
An impasse over wall funding has led to a partial government shutdown, now in its third week.
Pelosi and Schumer have flatly refused to pay for the wall. They said Tuesday they will deliver their response to Trump after his address at 9 p.m. EST.
Trump says there is a security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border that can be addressed only by spending $5.7 billion on a wall as a way to prevent people from crossing into the U.S. illegally.
Leaders of the bipartisan National Governors Association are urging President Donald Trump and congressional leaders to end the partial government shutdown, telling them “a federal government shutdown should not be a negotiating tactic as disagreements are resolved.”
The group’s chairman, Montana Democrat Steve Bullock, and vice chairman, Maryland Republican Larry Hogan, sent the letter on Monday.
The message was made public Tuesday, the 18th day of the shutdown, as Trump prepared to make his case in a prime-time speech that there’s a U.S.-Mexico border crisis that must be addressed. Trump wants billions of dollars to fund a border wall, which congressional Democrats oppose.
The governors say federal workers are being hurt and state business is being affected by shutdowns of federal departments and agencies. They warn shorelines are at risk with reduced Coast Guard capabilities.
With no breakthrough in sight, President Donald Trump is set to argue in a prime-time address that a “crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border requires the wall he’s demanding before ending the partial government shutdown.
Trump’s speech on Tuesday night will be followed by his visit Thursday to the southern border. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that he will use the visit to “meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.”
The administration is also at least talking about declaring a national emergency to allow Trump to move forward on the wall without Congress approving the $5.6 billion he wants.
In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal workers face missed paychecks Friday as the shutdown drags through a third week.