First, a partial U.S. government shutdown turns 21 days old on Friday, tying the record length of time for when the government's been partially shut down. It's been that way because the president and Congress haven't agreed on funding for it.
President Donald Trump and most Republicans want that funding package to include about $5.7 billion for the construction of a wall or barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. Most Democrats opposed the construction of the wall so they don't want that money included in the funding package.
Yesterday President Trump visited McAllen, Texas, a town at the U.S.-Mexico border to make his case.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The American people will hear directly from our front line border agents about the tremendous flood of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking. They just go where there's no security, where you don't even know the difference between Mexico and the United States. There's no line of demarcation. They just go out. And where there's no fencing or walls of any kind, they just make a left into the United States.
They don't go through your points of entry. They go right through and if we had a — a barrier of any kind, a powerful barrier whether it's steel or concrete, if we had a barrier they wouldn't be able to make that turn, and they wouldn't even bother trying. And you also have the criminal gangs coming in. They don't walk through the points of entry. They come where nobody's around.
CARL AZUZ: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes the barrier. She's called the president's proposal expensive and ineffective. The Democrat from California says new infrastructure, roads, technology and personnel could better secure the border. With Republicans and Democrats holding strongly to their positions and blaming each other for the government shut down, some officials say the White House is considering declaring a national emergency to get the wall built.
That could provide the funding to construct the barrier without approval from Congress but it's controversial. Some say it's a legal use of presidential powers. Some say it's not. So if the president declares a national emergency and if his Administration is sued for doing it, it could ultimately be up to the Supreme Court to decide what happens.