ADDS TRUMP TWEET ANNOUNCING PRIME TIME ADDRESS IN GRAF 4
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - President Donald Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexico border later this week as he continues to insist Congress allocate more than $5 billion to fund his long-promised wall along the southern border, the White House announced Monday.
Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Twitter Trump will "meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis" during the Thursday trip.
Additional details on the trip were not immediately available, but Sanders said they would "soon" be forthcoming.
Trump later announced on Twitter he would address the nation prime time Tuesday regarding the situation at the southern border.
His visit to the border comes as the partial U.S. government shutdown continues through its third week with the effects continuing to mount across the country. Waste has begun to pile up at national parks, and the Smithsonian museums have shuttered their doors to the thousands of daily visitors who would normally make the trip to the nation's capital to explore its exhibits.
Roughly 800,000 federal workers are either being forced to work without pay, or involuntarily stay home from their jobs.
Many government agencies ran out of funding Dec. 22.
Trump is demanding that any prospective funding bill to reopen the government include money to fund his wall, which he initially vowed Mexico would pay for. He has since suggested a yet-to-be ratified free trade pact with Mexico and Canada would provide the funds, but has not laid out the figures to back his claim.
Congressional Democrats ardently resist Trump's funding demand, arguing it is a waste of time and resources.
The Senate previously passed a funding bill that excluded appropriations for Trump's wall, but the House injected language that would have covered Trump's demand when the chamber was controlled by the Republican Party.
Control of the House has since changed hands following November's midterm elections, and with Democrats now in control the chances of any corresponding measure making its way through are all but dead.
Shortly after it was sworn-in, the Democratic chamber passed a funding bill to reopen the government without funding the wall, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring it up in the Senate, insisting any such bill receive Trump's endorsement before it is taken under consideration.