With the US’ manufacturing sector booming, President Trump said that his long-promised border wall could be built entirely from American steel. He also hasn’t excluded the idea of building it without Congressional approval.
Following a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Trump told reporters on Friday that a “steel wall” could be an option, “because we have steel companies again…there’s something awfully nice about that.”
Trump and the Democrats have thus far failed to come to a compromise on Trump’s request for $5 billion to fund the wall, and the government shutdown is set to enter its second week on Friday. Speaking to reporters before retaking the House Speaker’s gavel on Thursday Pelosi said bluntly: “We’re not doing a wall. Does anybody have any doubt about that? We’re not doing a wall.”
Trump, meanwhile, has promised to veto a Democrat bill that would reopen the government without providing funding for the wall. When asked if he has considered using emergency powers to build the wall without Congressional approval, he replied that he may do it, but that finding a consensus has a better shot.
Before the impromptu press conference, the president sent a letter to lawmakers in both parties on Friday, in which he reiterated his familiar call for a wall. “Walls work,” Trump wrote. “That’s why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes. All Americans deserve the same protection.”
Trump told reporters that the idea of a slatted steel wall is more palatable to Democrats than the concrete monolith he promised on the campaign trail. Before Christmas, the president tweeted a picture of a prototype “Steel Slat Barrier,” calling it “artistically designed” and “beautiful.”
With the government shutdown entering its second week, Trump and the Congressional Democrats have a series of meetings convened over the weekend aimed at breaking the impasse.
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