House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, who took control of the chamber last week, plan to advance a bill to immediately reopen the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several other agencies that have been partially shut down since December 22. About a quarter of U.S. agencies have been shut down since last month and hundreds of thousands of government workers are likely to miss pay checks this week. "So how much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job", he said.
There were two audiences for Donald Trump's address to the nation on Tuesday night.
"This is a humanitarian crisis - a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul", he said, emphasizing that the federal government "remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security".
The president often highlights such incidents, though studies over several years have found immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States.
Mr Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Media captionFive questions about Trump's border wall What did President Trump say?
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered televised rebuttals to Trump's speech.
Pelosi and Schumer also emphasized an obvious fact: On the first day that the 116th Congress was in session, House Democrats, who now hold the majority, passed government spending legislation that was almost identical to what Senate Republicans passed at the tail-end of the 115th Congress.
Already there are signs of cracks in the president's support in Congress, however. But in the most recent test, it did not work.
What's the reality at the border?Democrats controlling the House have agreed to fund only Dollars 1.3 billion for border security.
While the number of families coming over the border has risen sharply, the number of border arrests - the leading gauge of how many people are trying to cross illegally - is actually one-quarter of what it was in 2000, dropping from 1.6 million then to 400,000 in 2018.
The ripple effects are endless: Amidst all the talk about protecting US borders, a large number of TSA agents are calling in sick due to working without pay, increasing safety risks in airports nationwide. "They could have aired a rerun of American Ninja Warrior and it would have been more nuanced, patriotic, and reassuring than that", he said.
Her fellow Republican senators, Susan Collins of ME and Cory Gardner of Colorado, issued similar appeals last week.
But two polls conducted before Trump's speech suggest that the argument might've been a hard sell.
Mr. Dallek said Republican senators had reached a bipartisan deal to fund the government before Mr. Trump triggered the shutdown.
But after days of hinting he might use presidential powers to declare an emergency as a first step toward directing money for the wall without congressional approval, Trump said he would continue seeking a solution to the impasse with Congress.
Some correspondents have speculated that he may ultimately resort to such a declaration as a last-ditch tactic to allow him to reopen the government without losing face to Democrats.