Trump Says US to Build 'Human Wall' on Mexico Border if Necessary

Erika Holt
February 9, 2019

The funding for the construction of a physical barrier along the southern border was the focal point of the recent government shutdown, which became the longest in US history.

And instead of majorities in the House and Senate, the President will face a majority of Democratic lawmakers during his speech - a makeup that is sure to swing the applause-o-meter and amplify the sense of political division around the country. Instead, he urged Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise by a February 15 deadline.

Trump will argue that "without the wall, we have insecure borders, and we have illegal immigration, and we have crime, and we have drug trafficking", Vicino said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who won plaudits from Democrats for her hard-line negotiating tactics during the shutdown, will be seated behind the president - a visual reminder of Trump's political opposition.

Democrats call the wall a waste of money and ineffective. He said the US has "the hottest economy anywhere in the world".

"The only thing that can stop it", he said, "are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations" - an apparent swipe at the special counsel investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign, as well as the upcoming congressional investigations.

Besides border security and immigration, Trump will touch on topics like trade, infrastructure, drug-pricing and national security, according to USA Today, citing a senior administration official speaking on condition of anonymity. Russian Federation denies meddling and Trump has said there was no collusion.

Since then, she has emerged as a "bona fide leader" among Democrats, said Jaime Harrison, a senior counselor and co-chair of the Democratic National Committee.

"I'll be looking to see whether or not his approach is confrontational or one that suggests that he truly is willing to work together with Democrats to get things done", he said. "It was pablum, without specifics", said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in NY.

For a time, it was unclear if Trump's annual address to Congress would happen. Some Democratic women will be wearing white, the color favored by early 20th-century suffragettes. Trump may also preview plans to hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It is expected to be either in Hanoi or Da Nang.

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But then, even while the president may have to win over some unconvinced voters in 2020, he also will have to hold onto his base. The cameras closed in on former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders during the 2019 State of the Union address .

Mr Trump will also address foreign policy, including support to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power. The President stopped by to give a pep talk, as well.

Trump previously tried to pressure Congress into backing his idea by refusing to sign off on budgets for swathes of the federal government, leading to a five-week shutdown of some 800,000 government jobs.

An 11-year-old boy who says he's been bullied because of his last name - Trump - will be one of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump's guests at the State of the Union on Tuesday, the White House announced.

Republican senator John Cornyn said he remains hopeful Congress can resolve the dispute.

Trump's tweeting about his border wall makes it increasingly likely that the proposal will be a centerpiece of his State of the Union speech tonight.

Pelosi, who frequently sat stony-faced through Trump's address, has shown no sign of budging from her opposition to Trump's wall-funding demand. Yet the speech follows the longest shutdown in US history, and the deadline to avoid another one is in less than two weeks.

"Simply put, walls work and walls save lives".

Since Democrats, especially those running for president, largely agree on policy, finding the right style and tone to fight Trump will be paramount, said Jason Nichols, an African-American studies lecturer at the University of Maryland.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will deliver the Democratic response. "Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country", Trump said.

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