The 18-day shutdown of the federal government showed little sign of ending after President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Hoping to demonstrate flexibility during his almost 10-minute speech from the White House Oval Office, Trump said of the border barrier he wants built: "At the request of the Democrats it will be a steel barrier and not a concrete wall".
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump "called the question" during the meeting, using the legislative term for putting an issue up for a vote.
"He said, 'Then we have nothing to discuss". Across the seven nets and down 4 from the opposition, the "temper tantrum" accused POTUS pulled in a 28.1/45 rating in the overnight metrics in the 9 - 9:15 PM ET time period. Farmers and small businesses won't get loans they need.
Instead, he renewed his notice that he might declare a national emergency and try to authorise the wall on his own if Congress wouldn't approve the $5.7bn he's asking for. "For those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask to imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken", he said.
The ripple effects are endless: Amidst all the talk about protecting USA borders, a large number of TSA agents are calling in sick due to working without pay, increasing safety risks in airports nationwide.
Speaking in a measured, calm and composed way in contrast to his usual blustery, hectoring style, Trump said the border wall on the Mexican border was necessary to not only keep out illegal immigrants and criminals, but also the drugs that were ravaging country resulting in thousands of deaths every year.
Trump called on Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was "immoral" for "politicians to do nothing". Both Trump and the Democrats have agreed there is a crisis at the border. "But having said that, I think there is going to be significant political pressure on everybody when federal workers and contractors start missing their paychecks, or cant pay the rent or the mortgage, or put food on the table". Fifty-one per cent of adults surveyed between Jan 1 and Monday said Mr Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday. More than 38 million Americans who rely on food stamps could see them reduced should the shutdown continue into next month. "My network will be carrying Trump's Wall speech live".
Moments after the White House meeting disintegrated, the president headed to Twitter to vent his frustration. "Our southern border is a vast pipeline for illegal drugs including meth, heroine, cocaine and fentanyl".
Able to get the bills through the House because of the Democratic majority, Pelosi is hoping some Senate Republicans back her up and abandon Trump's wall gambit.
Trump used emotional language, referring to Americans who were killed by people in the country illegally, saying: "I've met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration".