Democrats and White House Remain Deeply Divided Over Border Wall

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office at the White House

President Trump: Democrats do nothing to secure border, national emergency still possible

Just hours before he is scheduled to give the State of the Union address in which his proposed wall on the southern border is expected to be one of the topics, President Donald Trump sent out a tweet on the issue.

As expected, Mr Trump is expected to ruffle some feathers in the address at 9pm this evening EST in which he will deliver the address before a joint session of the 116th Congress in the chamber of the House of Representatives. Funding for those agencies runs out again February 15 and, so far, no permanent deal has been reached.

The recent 35-day partial government shutdown was caused by a dispute over whether to fund the wall.

Millions of Americans were expected to watch the address on television, giving the Republican president his biggest opportunity to date to explain why he believes a barrier is needed on the U.S. southern border with Mexico.

And that lack of change could lead Trump to declare a national emergency - or clearly state he will do if a House-Senate border security spending panel cannot strike a deal he will support that includes wall funding by next Friday. He's teased the possibility of declaring a national emergency to secure wall funding if Congress doesn't act, though it appeared unlikely he would take that step Tuesday night.

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White House aides say the president will call for bipartisanship on major legislation, but analysts expect Democrats to continue resisting his agenda.

While the government is funded until February 15, the conference committee has only a few days left to formulate an agreement on border security spending.

Trump's case for a border wall is likely to figure prominently and he may turn to anti-abortion rhetoric to further rally his supporters. That's because Trump likely will describe his time in office as, in the words of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday, "two of the most successful years under a first-term president".

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"He wants Congress to finish its work and hopefully come to an agreement, put a deal on his desk that he will sign into law", Conway told reporters at the White House.

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He said: "I see Schumer is already criticising my State of the Union speech, even though he hasn't seen it yet". Trump's approval rating before his third address is the lowest of any president except Ronald Reagan.

He said the American people know Mr Trump's economy was "failing our middle class" and the U.S. healthcare system was "failing American families".

The president and first lady also invited three family members of Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, who were killed in January 2019 by an illegal immigrant.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who won plaudits from Democrats for her hard-line negotiating tactics during the shutdown, will be seated behind the president - a visual reminder of Trump's political opposition.

Trump is also expected to address several foreign policy issues, such as trade talks with China, pulling USA troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, a diplomatic drive with North Korea and a growing political crisis in Venezuela, among others.

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