Trump Arrives In McAllen Amid Protests
President Donald Trump arrived in on the Texas border in McAllen to make the case for his long-promised border wall after negotiations with Democrats blew up over his funding demands.
Trump traveled on Thursday on the 20th day of a partial government shutdown. He is seeking to use the trip to bolster his argument that a wall is needed on security and humanitarian grounds.
Trump is to visit a border patrol station and receive a briefing on border security.
The president and congressional Democrats remain at an impasse over his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern border. Critics say Trump overstates the security risks and that the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation.
President Donald Trump says he is canceling his trip to Davos, Switzerland because of the partial government shutdown, now in its 20th day.
He was scheduled to leave Jan. 21 to attend the World Economic Forum. Trump says he's canceling his trip because of Democrats' "intransigence" on border security. Trump and Democrats are at an impasse over funding for Trump's proposed wall at the southern border.
In a tweet Friday, Trump offered his "warmest regards and apologies" to the economic forum.
Earlier in the day, he told reporters that he wanted to go, but that he might not if the shutdown over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall continues.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other Cabinet members are still scheduled to attend the annual Davos event, which attracts business and political elite.
Federal workers are denouncing President Donald Trump for a weeks-long partial government shutdown.
At a rally Thursday with Democratic members of Congress, they are demanding that Trump reopen the government so that hundreds of thousands of workers can get back to work and receive their paychecks.
Trump has indicated the government will remain shut until he gets money for a border wall.
Workers are directing their sharpest criticism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has declined to take up spending bills passed by the House to reopen government without paying for a wall.
J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, says McConnell should do his "damn job and let there be a vote."
Workers chanted "get us paid."
Several hundred protesters are chanting and waving signs opposing a border wall next to the South Texas airport where President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive for his trip to the border.
Across the street, a smaller group of protesters is shouting back and chanting, "Build that wall!" Trump's arrival in McAllen Thursday will take place as he pushes Congress to fund $5.7 billion for a border wall as a condition of ending a partial government shutdown.
Debra Tietz, a resident of nearby Mission, stood with anti-Trump protesters. The 64-year-old Tietz called Trump's trip "a publicity stunt" and said she opposes the damage a border wall would do to the environment.
On the other side of the street, Eva Arechiga wore a red "Make America Great Again" and held a sign that says "Finish the Wall." A 54-year-old resident of McAllen, Arechiga said she wanted to welcome Trump and thank him. She says, "I've been waiting for the border wall to be finished," because she believes it will send a message to other countries to respect American borders.
The association that represents thousands of FBI agents says the partial federal government shutdown is affecting the bureau's operations.
The FBI Agents Association sent a petition Thursday to the White House and congressional leaders encouraging them to fund the FBI immediately.
The association's president, Tom O'Connor, told reporters in a conference call that Friday will be the first day that FBI personnel will not receive a paycheck.
He said the problems caused by the shutdown could make it harder to recruit and retain agents, cause delays at the FBI lab and in getting or renewing security clearances.
O'Connor said the FBI's petition is not about politics, but that financial security for agents is important for national security.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking an attempt by Democrats to force a vote on legislation to reopen the federal government.
Democrats went to the Senate floor Thursday and asked for consent to vote on a series of bills that would end the partial government shutdown, which was in its 20th day.
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said the bills were uncontroversial and were broadly supported by Republicans in the past. Cardin says the country is being "held hostage" by President Donald Trump as he seeks funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
McConnell objected to the Democratic request, saying he won't agree to "pointless show votes" on bills Trump won't sign. McConnell noted that Democrats agreed in December to not vote on a funding package until a deal was reached by Trump and leaders from both parties.
The border wall was a signature campaign promise for Trump. Democrats have called a wall costly, ineffective and immoral.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats need help with "their brand new partisan allergy" to a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Kentucky Republican on Thursday used visual aids on the Senate floor to suggest that Democrats supported such a barrier under President Barack Obama but opposed one under President Donald Trump. He recommended that Democrats "seek some treatment for their brand new party allergy to border security."
Democrats are refusing Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for part of a wall across the southern border. In 2013, some Democrats supported a $46 billion bill for a number of border security measures, including new fencing. But that legislation would have created a pathway to citizenship for millions of people in the U.S. illegally. It failed.