On Thursday, President Trump traveled to a portion of the southern border in McAllen, Texas. He was greeted by protestors and a Trump baby balloon.
Republicans who gathered to construct a new deal containing wall funding and provisions for Democrats involving DACA and visa modifications were disappointed by Mike Pence. Their plans fell through when Vice President Mike Pence let it be known President Trump would not approve their deal.
Additionally, Pence said the President will oppose a deal to reopen the government temporarily for three weeks as Republicans and Democrats work out their differences. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) summed up the current political dilemma and his helplessness and inability to contribute to the national discussion productively as follows: “We’re kind of stuck.”
On Thursday, Speaker Pelosi asked Senate Republicans to vote for House-passed measures to reopen parts of the government. While a few Republicans were in favor of these measures, most of them stand behind Trump, like Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Graham.
The Administration is looking for ways they can secure money for the border barrier. Mexico will not be writing President Trump a check. Rather, Mexico is, supposedly, indirectly paying for the wall once a new trade policy is worked out and confirmed by Congress.
The Trump Administration is mulling over whether a declaration of a national emergency to build the wall can be avoided. Officials in the White House are seeing if they can divert funds from emergency aid allocated to Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and California for the toll taken on these places from recent storms and fires.
The government was shut down for 21 days as of Friday. On Thursday, President Trump tweeted he will miss the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This Forum starts on January 22. Trump’s announcement of absence from the Forum because of the border wall dispute does not bode well for the government shutdown.
In the meantime, citizens continue to be negatively impacted by the effects of the government shutdown. As NBC News reported, some housing properties with low-income elderly residents are in extremely poor condition. The San Jose Manor II Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida are in desperate need of a roof replacement as rainwater leaks into tenants’ rooms.
However, the roof cannot be fixed because HUD payments are not coming through. HUD funds are frozen until contracts with certain properties are renewed. And hundreds of expired contracts that had yet to be renewed before the shutdown are in relation to properties which distribute rental assistance to elderly residents. This rental assistance program is called Section 202, part of HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance.
Featured image via Flickr/U.S. Customs and Border Protection