Trump to make ‘major announcement’ on border wall, shutdown

The US president to make an address on Saturday amid dispute that has brought large parts of government to stand still.

President Donald Trump
A partial government shutdown approaches a month, as Trump refuses to back down [Evan Vucci/AP]

US President Donald Trump has said he will make a major announcement at 20:00 GMT on Saturday about his proposed wall on the United States border with Mexico.

The issue is the core reason behind a bitter dispute between the Republican leader and Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, which has led to a partial government shutdown that has lasted four weeks so far.

“I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.” Trump wrote on Twitter, late on Friday. 

The president wants $5.7bn from Congress to fund the US-Mexico border  wall but Democrats have rejected the demand.

800,000 without pay

In response, Trump has refused to approve legislation to restore funding to about a quarter of the federal government, resulting in up to 800,000 employees going without pay.

The House has passed short-term spending bills that would end the shutdown and reopen the government, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow a floor vote on them, saying they lacked White House support.

US government shutdown: Ripple effect on businesses (2:23)

During the week, a small group of Senate Republicans sought support for a plan to urge Trump to agree to a short-term funding bill in exchange for a debate on border security. Their efforts went nowhere.

The partial shutdown – already the longest in the US history – seemed certain to drag well into next week, meaning federal workers nationwide would continue to go unpaid and some government functions would remain impaired.

In a sign of just how bitter the dispute has become, Trump denied House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and a congressional delegation the use of a military plane for a planned visit to Belgium and Afghanistan.

Source: Al Jazeera