House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are furious that President Donald Trump will be addressing the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday night in prime time — and they’re making some demands to counter the president.
In a joint statement released on Monday night, Pelosi and Schumer demanded that Democrats be given television time to issue their own response to the president’s address.
“Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime,” the joint statement stated.
Pelosi also tweeted the statement from her Twitter account:
Now that the television networks have decided to air @realDonaldTrump’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 8, 2019
A few hours prior to Pelosi and Schumer demanding equal air-time to the president of the United States, Trump announced that he would speaking about the government shutdown and the need for a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border,” Trump wrote in his announcement tweet.
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
The speech is expected to last roughly 7 to 8 minutes, where the president will detail why a border wall is necessary to combat illegal immigration and the flow of drugs into the country.
Trump has been determined to get at least $5 billion in funding for the wall amid the government shutdown.
Over the weekend, staff for top level Democrats met at the White House with Vice President Mike Pence and others to discuss a bill to reopen the federal government and allocate funding to build the wall.
Last month, House Republicans voted 217-185 to approve a measure that would keep the government open and allocate $5.7 billion for border wall funding.
The bill is now waiting a full vote in the Senate, where lawmakers are hashing it out over funding for border security.
Trump originally wanted $5 billion for border wall funding and Democrats only offered $1.6 billion, which they claimed was a “very generous” offer.
Trump has also threatened to declare a national emergency and have the military build his wall.
In fact, House Armed Service Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA, stunned many over the weekend and admitted that Trump has the full authority to use the U.S. military to build the border wall.
“Does President Trump have the ability, have the authority to declare a national emergency and have the military build his wall?” ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“Well, unfortunately, the short answer is yes. There is a provision in the law that says the president can declare an emergency,” Smith began, with Stephanopoulos visibly not pleased with the answer at all.
Trump’s speech will be carried live on all networks on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET.