Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer says Tuesday that "in another context, we would call that an act of kidnapping or terrorism". But since the idea of a national emergency has been raised, it's hard to see how Trump's address won't be underwhelming.
Trump must outline the specific emergency powers he is activating to make the declaration.
This will be Trump's first Oval Office speech, and on Thursday he will travel to the southern border to highlight his demand for a barrier. The shutdown, which has left some 800,000 government workers furloughed or working without pay, is also affecting national parks, airline security screening, housing and food aid, and economic data. The Senate Minority Leader and House Speaker are set to respond to Trump's address after it wraps.
Talks over ending the shutdown have been at an impasse over Trump's demand for the wall. "It's not likely that Democrats will give him a huge, huge win-both symbolically and practically on this wall".
The presidential address will air on CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox at 9 p.m. ET.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told CNN he had "no idea" which past presidents told Trump they supported the wall. Aides suggested the President would rely on arguments he's made previously to ratchet up the urgency of his message.
But on Tuesday, all major networks agreed to air Trump's remarks live.
The only living former president yet to go on record denying that he praised Trump for trying to build the wall is Trump's immediate predecessor, Barack Obama.
"We believe we can solve this through the legislative process", he told CBS, urging Democrats to negotiate. We're talking about national security. Many are released after turning themselves into border agents and requesting asylum, a legal process that can take years to resolve in USA immigration courts. But he's made such assertions without any evidence, and as HuffPost's Amanda Terkel notes, polls have found most Americans do not support the wall or funding for it.
The group's chairman, Montana Democrat Steve Bullock, and vice chairman, Maryland Republican Larry Hogan, sent the letter on Monday. Trump wants billions of dollars to fund a border wall, which congressional Democrats oppose. Hoyer said he believes even more Republicans could join them later this week when Democrats begin holding votes on individual spending bills that were written previous year by GOP committees. They warn shorelines are at risk with reduced Coast Guard capabilities.
Aiming to bolster his case for a wall along the USA border with Mexico, President Donald Trump said on Monday he would make a prime-time televised address and visit the border this week as the government marked its 17th day of a partial shutdown. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Monday morning that Trump will head to the US-Mexico border to "meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis".