Trump sets ‘major announcement’ Saturday on border wall fight

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After yet another day which featured no hints of progress in ending a funding fight that has to a partial government shutdown taking paychecks away from over 800,000 federal workers, President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday evening that he would make a ‘major announcement’ on Saturday about his push to get money to build a wall along the Mexican border, which has led to an ongoing standoff with Democrats in Congress.

“I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown,” the President wrote on Twitter, giving no details about what he might announce.

With no indications that Democrats in Congress are ready to give in on their opposition to a border wall, some Republicans have continued to urge the President to declare a ‘national emergency’ under existing laws, and move money around in the military’s budget to build a wall.

“He ought to go ahead and declare an emergency, and it would be over,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). “I don’t know why he is reluctant to do that.”

Inhofe – who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee – said Thursday that he would not oppose the President dipping into military construction funds to build the wall, though other Republicans have publicly opposed the idea.

Democrats on Friday also pressed the Department of Homeland Security on another front – using eminent domain to take land away from landowners, in order to build the way – focusing on a case involving the Catholic Church in Texas, which owns land that the Trump Administration wants.

“The federal government must exercise extreme caution when seizing private property,” wrote Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer to the Homeland Security Secretary.

The President has asked for $5.7 billion in border security money for both fencing and a wall; Democrats in Congress have offered $1.6 billion – the original requests of the Trump Administration and Republicans – but Democrats want none of that to go to the wall.