Stop holding Americans 'hostage' over shutdown, Pelosi tells Trump

Stop holding Americans 'hostage' over shutdown, Pelosi tells Trump

nancy pelosi, chuck schumer
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer pose for pictures after delivering a response to US President Donald Trump's televised address to the nation on border funding at the Capitol in Washington DC on Jan 8, 2019. (Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP)

WASHINGTON: Top congressional Democrats pushed back sternly Tuesday (Jan 8) against Donald Trump, warning that the US president was holding Americans "hostage" by refusing to fund shuttered government agencies until he gets money for his much-hyped border wall.

READ: US-Mexico border situation a 'growing crisis': Donald Trump

"President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must re-open the government," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a curt rebuttal to Trump's address to the nation, in which he declared the situation on the southern border a "crisis of the heart."

The political impasse over Trump's demand for a border wall - and the divided Congress's refusal to fund it - has kept key government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security shuttered for the past 18 days, with few signs that a breakthrough is imminent.

Source: AFP/aa