Trump leaves for border visit as government shutdown duration nears record

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

President Trump is taking a trip to Texas to survey the southern border Thursday, as he continues to make his case for the need for a border wall.

Mr. Trump's insistence on billions of dollars in funding to keep a signature campaign promise — and Democrats' insistence to fund the government without wall funding — mean the partial government shutdown is poised to be the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Shutdown negotiations disintegrated Wednesday when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi indicated Democrats wouldn't support funding for the wall within 30 days if the government reopens, and Mr. Trump walked out of the room and said "bye-bye."

Mr. Trump is heading to a U.S. Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, and then on to the Rio Grande for a briefing. The New York Times reported Mr. Trump told journalists in an off-the-record meeting earlier this week that he didn't see the point in going to the border.

Trump traveling to southern border, leaving behind shutdown acrimony

Meanwhile, some cracks are starting to show in the Republican Party. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, posted a video to Twitter saying there is no need for the shutdown.

I continue to stress that there is no good reason for a shutdown. The reality is thousands of federal employees & contractors have no paycheck in sight, small businesses that rely on them are suffering & there’s no reason they should be held hostage to a political dispute. pic.twitter.com/VBMNUACU78

— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 9, 2019

Mr. Trump insisted on Twitter Thursday morning there is "GREAT" unity in his party on Capitol Hill.

"There is GREAT unity with the Republicans in the House and Senate, despite the Fake News Media working in overdrive to make the story look otherwise," Mr. Trump said. "The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don't want to give "Trump" another one of many wins!"

Still yet unclear is whether Mr. Trump will call a national emergency to free up wall funding. Mr. Trump chose not to do so in his Tuesday night prime-time address, but the White House has left that option on the table.

First published on January 10, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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