Democrats Seek Equal TV Time to Respond to Trump Border Address

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With no breakthrough in sight, President Donald Trump will argue his case to the nation Tuesday night that a "crisis" at the U.S. -Mexico border requires the long and invulnerable wall he's demanding before ending the partial government shutdown.

Democrats in Congress, who say a wall would be expensive, inefficient and immoral, called for the networks to grant them equal time in a joint statement issued by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

All the major over-the-air networks, as well as cable news channels Fox News and CNN, plan to carry the Trump speech, according to company representatives.

The message was made public Tuesday, the 18th day of the shutdown, as Trump prepared to make his case in a prime-time speech that there's a U.S. -Mexico border crisis that must be addressed.

Pelosi and Schumer have flatly refused to pay for the wall.

Trump's opponents have urged television networks to be aggressive in fact-checking any false statements.

"The wall only pushes people out to more risky, treacherous crossings, creating even more death", she said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said a new batch of polling shows voters back Democrats or want a compromise now.

Shortly after Sanders' tweet, Trump took to Twitter to announce his Tuesday primetime speech on border security. As of Tuesday morning, Vice President Mike Pence, in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America", said the president had yet to make a decision, saying, "It's something that he's looking at".

"They tell us the border crisis is the worst it's ever been".

The vice president, who participated in weekend discussions on the shutdown, said Democratic staff said there would be no negotiations until the government is reopened.

However, all four living former USA presidents - Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Carter - have now denied his claim.

Turley said that the funding issue could produce "stronger claims" if someone were to challenge Trump's emergency declaration in court.

Trump may intend to use the address to declare a "national emergency" over immigration, which he thinks would allow him to have the military build his wall.

Trump and fellow Republicans have been at odds with Democrats over Trump's demand for $5.6 billion in funding for a wall.

While explaining his position, Morgan recalled the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was initially created to "help protect the American people" and make U.S. borders "more secure", hinting that "the strategy has never changed".

"Is there any reason to believe that the president can now get more from the Democrats than he ever asked for in the two years his party was in control of Congress?" asked CNN host John King.

Meanwhile, caught in the middle of the Washington fray are about 800,000 federal workers, including Transportation Security Administration employees, who will miss their paycheck this week.

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