We’re just over a week into 2019 and the US partial governmental shutdown continues to affect workers and agencies across the nation. US President Donald Trump has remained unmoved on his demands for $5.7 billion to be granted by Congress to fund a border wall between the US and Mexico – however, with the Democrats now in charge of the House of Representatives, headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, there remains a bitter stalemate over what happens next. It’s also a continuing mystery as to when the shutdown will be released in the short term, if at all.
Trump made an eight-minute public address to cameras on January 8th to offer his latest take on proceedings. While his threats of initiating a ‘state of emergency’ to repeal the shutdown and to encourage Senators to back his funding remained unheeded during the televised speech, the President remained steadfast on pointing the finger directly at the Democrats with regard to the continuing shutdown.
In his address, President Trump iterated claims that there had been documented cases of illegal immigrants taking the lives of everyday US citizens, once again stating that Congress was to blame for holding back on what he sees to be a necessary perimeter put in place. “How much more American blood will be shed before Congress does its job?” Trump queried to a nationwide audience.
President Trump Discusses Border Security In Oval Office Speech [video]
The US is currently overseeing its second-longest federal agency closure in history as many workers remain unpaid into the new year. “This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” the President claimed. However, Democrats remain unmoved – though Trump correctly advised that some Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, voted to back a physical barrier in previous years. All had voted as part of the Secure Fence Act in 2006.
Speaker Pelosi was quick to respond to Trump’s latest appeal. “The fact is the women and children at the border are not a security threat, they are a humanitarian challenge.”
“The fact is President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government.”
Democrats Respond To President Trump's Oval Office Address [video]
With Congress remaining unwilling to offer Trump the funds he has demanded, and with the President continuing to hold out, it’s still unclear as to whether or not hundreds of thousands of federal agency workers affected will receive financial relief in due course. We will have more news as it arises.