White House says tax refunds will go out on time

US Vice President Mike Pence, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen leave the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after a meeting with staff from the House and Senate (AFP

President Donald Trump plans to visit the USA southern border on Thursday, leaving Washington for the first time since the partial federal shutdown began 16 days ago over his demand for funding for a wall along the border with Mexico.

One America News will have full and commercial free coverage of the president's address Tuesday night starting at 9PM Eastern Time and 6PM Pacific Time. He said they indicated this because it came up in the weekend meetings when the staffers asked where additional funding for border security would come from.

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The president held an hour-long press conference last week, fielding journalists' questions on the wall and hundreds of thousands of federal employees - including border patrol agents - working without pay.

Trump said earlier on Sunday his border wall can be built of steel instead of concrete if that will help Democrats come to terms in negotiations to reopen the government.

Later in the afternoon, Trump told reporters, "We're looking at a national emergency because we have a national emergency".

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Although Trump tweeted that the Sunday session had been "productive", two Democrats familiar with the meeting gave a different take, saying the White House had not provided the budget details they had requested and again declined to re-open government.

Thursday's trip, his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said, will be to "the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis". Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in new border security funding, but nothing for a wall.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will send more bills to re-open government to the Senate this week. Judy Woodruff takes a closer look with Peter Wehner, who served in the last three Republican administrations, Lara Brown of George Washington University and Domenico Montanaro of NPR.

Under the previous Republican-controlled Congress, the Senate unanimously passed a measure to fully fund the government until February 8, allowing more time for debate on issues including border security.

"Let's get those reopened while the negotiations continue, " Collins said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Federal workers have warned the shutdown will have long-term effects. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union", accused Democrats of being there to "stall". But Trump and the Department of Homeland Security pushed back on any suggestion that the call-outs represented a "sickout" that was having a significant effect on US air travel.

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White House officials and congressional aides are returning to discussions Sunday to find a way to reopen the government after emerging from the first round of weekend talks without a breakthrough. She has long argued against them and tried to broker resolutions to past stalemates.

Now, Trump should avoid offering Democrats the out of declaring a national emergency and attempting to build the wall with defense funding. Such a move would seem certain to draw legal challenges.

"We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly", possibly using the Army Corps of Engineers, he added.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called it a "non-starter".

Pence said Trump also invited Democrats back to the White House to respond to its latest proposal to resolve the standoff over legislation to fund the government.

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