U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) says it’s time for the president to come to the negotiating table to end the partial federal government shutdown.
But, for now, the president has other plans.
President Donald Trump says he will address the nation Tuesday night at 9 p.m. about what he says is a "crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump's prime-time address will come amid a partial government shutdown caused by his insistence that Congress give him more than $5 billion to build a wall on the border. Congressional Democrats are refusing to pay for a wall.
Trump has also planned a trip Thursday to the southern border to highlight his demands for the wall.
Sen. Peters was touring a women’s shelter in Bay City when he was asked about the president’s plans to address the nation on border security Tuesday evening.
“You can do national addresses. You can go down and visit the border. You do not need to shut down the government to do those things,” says Peters.
Michigan’s junior U.S. senator is concerned the president may announce rumored plans to tap hurricane relief funds to pay for construction of a wall along the Mexican border.
“That money, if it’s transferred for another purpose won’t be there to handle hurricanes and hurricane victims. So I don’t think it’s an appropriate course of action,” says Peters.
The nearly three week long shutdown affects part of the federal government furloughing hundreds of thousands of federal workers, making others go without pay and shutting down multiple federal agencies.
Peters says he’s particularly concerned about U.S. Coast Guard members in Michigan who are about to miss a paycheck due to the shutdown.