Vice President Mike Pence in a series of interviews aired Tuesday morning ahead of President Trump’s Address to the Nation said that the president is prepared to do what’s necessary to address “what the American people view as a humanitarian and genuine crisis at our southern border.”
Asked whether Trump will use the address to declare a national emergency to free up funding for his border wall, Pence replied, “When the President addresses the nation tonight, he’s be laying out the facts about what the American people view as a humanitarian and genuine crisis at our southern border.”
Pence said that it is not just about funding a border wall, but also about providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the resources the agency needs.
Citing how CBP capabilities have been overwhelmed by recent waves of migrants, many new arrivals being women and unaccompanied children, attempting entry, meanwhile still carrying out their ongoing efforts to prevent the flow of drugs and criminals across the border into the U.S., Pence added that, "The time has come for the Democrats to come to the table, and we have to start negotiating. Not just to address the government shutdown but to address the humanitarian and security crisis at the border."
Pushed again to say definitively whether Trump would declare a national emergency to get his funding without congressional approval, Pence responded, "It's something that we're looking at."
As to the $5.7 billion requested by Trump to build the wall, Pence said the White House isn’t budging.
"We believe that $5.7 billion is the proper amount," he said.
He tweeted videos of his remarks, accompanied by captions stressing the need for Congress to "do its job and come to the table."
"The congress should do its job and come to the table. The fact is what we heard over the weekend is Democrats are not even willing to negotiate until
@POTUS reopens the government. The American people deserve better than that," he wrote in a tweet.
@POTUS is prepared to do what's necessary to address what is a real humanitarian & security crisis at our southern border. We need new resources. We need to build the wall. We need Congress to come to the table & work with this President to address this crisis once and for all," Pence wrote in another.
President Trump will be addressing the nation from the Oval Office Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST. The primetime address will be aired on all the major networks.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi issued a joint statement on Monday demanding that the major networks “immediately” give Democrats “equal airtime” to counter Trump’s speech.
Ironically, Democrats like Sen. Schumer and former President Obama have called for the need to stop illegal immigration and praised tactics like barriers on the border as effective.
Regardless, Democrats continue to push back against Trump’s request for funding to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, insisting he and the Republicans approve a partial-funding bill which would not include money for the wall and reserve the debate on immigration for a later date.
President Trump has said that he is prepared for the shutdown, which has entered its third week, to go on “as long as it takes,” and has also threatened to declare a national emergency to obtain funding for the wall and bypass Congress altogether.