President Trump is preparing to deliver his second State of the Union Address as negotiations continue in Congress to avoid another partial government shutdown. The address, which had been blocked and delayed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is now set to take place Tuesday night.
Reports indicate the president will focus his speech on unity in America, hoping to start bridging the divide between Republicans and Democrats as he engages on key issues such as immigration, health care, and national security.
The speech calling for unity comes at a difficult time as Democrats are still saying no to granting money for a border wall. As a result, the president is considering declaring a national emergency that could enable him to build the wall without approval from Congress.
"I don't like to take things off the table. It's that alternative. It's national emergency, it's other things," Trump told CBS's Margaret Brennan in an interview. "We're going to have a strong border. And the only way you have a strong border is you need a physical barrier."
In the meantime, the Trump administration has decided to increase border security efforts once again, sending 3,750 additional troops to the US/Mexico border.
"With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security." President Trump tweeted.
With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security. Dems do nothing. If there is no Wall, there is no Security. Human Trafficking, Drugs and Criminals of all dimensions - KEEP OUT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2019
Trump also tweeted about the increased troop support, stating they will stop the large caravans of illegal immigrants entering.
More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
CBS News reported the increase in troops will cost over $600 million by the end of the fiscal year. That means efforts to improve border security will reach nearly $1 billion since active-duty troops arrived there in October. Trump wants Congress to approve $5.7 billion for a southern border wall which would eliminate the need for active duty military at the border.
Progressives are criticizing the president, accusing him of "exploiting" border security concerns for his political agenda.
If the two parties are not able to reach an agreement, Trump has said the government will shut down again or he will declare a national emergency. Legal challenges are expected to follow if the president takes that step.