Forget Concrete, Let's Build A Steel Wall Instead

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"Democratic staff repeatedly urged the Trump Administration and Republicans to reopen the government but were rejected", one source relayed to TIME.

A short while later, Mr Trump said in his own Twitter post that he would address the nation at 9:00pm on Tuesday night (1:00pm AEDT on Wednesday) on the border situation.

US President Donald Trump will travel to the border with Mexico on Friday, the White House announced.

"We have a crisis at the border of drugs, of human beings being trafficked all over the world", Trump said.

Every hour that goes by this week without a deal makes it more and more likely that some 800,000 federal workers - even those who have been required to work over the 17 days of the partial shutdown, would not be getting paid.

The idea has met pushback from some, including California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he did not think Trump would be able to use emergency powers to build a wall at the southern border.

Trump told reporters the steel barrier would "give us great strength".

But Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, seem in no mood to make concessions on a border wall Pelosi has described as an "immorality".

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With the impact of the partial shutdown rippling across the country, acting White House budget director Russell Vought sent a letter to congressional leaders detailing the Administration's demands.

Congressional and White House officials are reportedly still failing to reach any kind of agreement on the president's funding requests, even as he continues to float new characterizations of the wall.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters that the crisis at the border has grown significantly worse since last February, with about 2,000 illegal immigrants per day apprehended crossing the border. Among Senate GOP moderates, Susan Collins of ME expressed support for the Democratic move on Sunday.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, has said Democrats will start approving individual bills to reopen government departments, starting with the Treasury, so Americans could get their tax refunds.

Republican Susan Collins of ME wants the Senate to take up House-passed bills to re-open the government.

Among the Republicans expressing concern was Sen.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose chamber passed almost identical bills previous year, refuses to allow the Senate to vote on the measures because Trump has threatened he would veto them.

'It is an offer he made, and it'll be discussed, ' he said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' 'What we ought to do is open up the government first'.

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As the shutdown continues, more Americans are beginning to see its effects.

Trump, however, now is saying he would agree to a steel barrier instead of a concrete wall he has long vowed to build.

Over the weekend, the federal agency tasked with guaranteeing USA airport security acknowledged an increase in the number of its employees calling off work.

In an interview on NBC, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME called the debate about whether the barrier should be constructed out of concrete or steel "bizarre", and said she was frustrated that both sides "appear to be intransigent".

"Democrats want to secure the border?" We have criminals coming in.

Trump reaffirmed that he would consider declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress and spend money as he saw fit.

However, opponents would nearly certainly accuse him of presidential overreach and respond with court challenges.

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