Trump will describe border “crisis” in Oval Office address, Pence says

Posted at 8:37 AM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 10:42:10-05

President Trump will use his Oval Office address tonight to “lay out the facts about what the American people view as a humanitarian and genuine crisis at our southern border,” Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday in a “CBS This Morning” interview.

He did not specify whether the president will use the address to declare a national emergency to free up funding for his border wall, a move Mr. Trump is considering if Congress can’t reach an agreement on the issue that has led to partial government shutdown that is in its third week.  “It’s something we are looking at,” he said.

“The time has come for the Democrats to come to the table, and we have to start negotiating,” Pence said. “Not just to address the government shutdown but to address the humanitarian crisis at the border.”

The president’s prime-time address, his first ever from the Oval Office, is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. The remarks will run no longer than eight minutes, according to the White House. Mr. Trump is expected to address the partial shutdown, the border crisis and the deadline for federal workers’ paychecks.

The White House is asking for $5.7 billion for the president’s border wall, but Democrats have already indicated they won’t give him funding for the project that was the signature issue in his presidential campaign.

In the “CBS This Morning” interview, Pence said that the White House does not see any room to negotiate on the $5.7 billion figure. “We believe that $5.7 billion is the proper amount,” he said.

Pence said the Trump administration has listened carefully to Democratic priorities in their meetings in recent days over the shutdown, and has incorporated those into its funding proposal for the border wall. These include additional humanitarian resources for screening at all of our ports of entry, he said.

“We’re requesting significant increases in variety of other areas that Democrats have asked for,” he said. “We can resolve this issue in a matter of hours.”