WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown when he addresses the nation from the White House on Saturday afternoon — what officials are describing as his third offer to end the shutdown, according to a senior administration official.
The official told CNN that Trump’s idea is to put something on the table to get Democrats to engage with negotiations. Trump is not expected to back down from his demand for a border wall, but the plan will seek to entice Democrats by offering other concessions.
However, this plan is not based on negotiations with Democrats and White House officials are pessimistic that it will change much in stalled talks, because Democrats have previously refused to counter the White House’s proposal. Instead they have insisted that the President reopen the government, then engage in negotiations over border security.
The official added that discussions about a national emergency are ongoing in the administration and the President is not expected to announce a decision on that during Saturday’s speech. However, nothing is definite until it’s announced by the President.
Trump announced earlier Friday evening that he would be making a statement to the nation at 3 p.m. Saturday from the White House. The speech will come on the 29th day of the government shutdown, which began last month when congressional Democrats and Trump failed to reach a deal to fund roughly a quarter of the government.
Negotiations have been at an impasse for weeks over Trump’s demand for money to fund his border wall. Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been adamant that they do not want to give Trump any funding for a wall along the southern border.
When asked about the announcement by reporters Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wouldn’t shed much light on what Trump would say, declaring, “I’m not going to get ahead of the President.”
She said the announcement will be made in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.
“I’m not going to get ahead of the President but I can assure he’s going to continue fighting for border security, he’s going to continue looking for the solution to end the humanitarian and national security crisis at the border,” Sanders told reporters at the White House.
Asked specifically whether the humanitarian and national security crisis at the border constituted a national emergency, Sanders again declined to comment.
“Again, I’m not getting ahead of the President. He’ll make that announcement tomorrow afternoon. I suggest everybody tune in,” she said.