President Donald Trump has ordered a temporary shutdown on most major federal infrastructure projects, with the president saying he needs the time to “build the wall, rebuild the border, and get rid of drugs and gangs.”
The order is meant to put the brakes on the opioid crisis, but it could prove more difficult to implement.
“The President has decided to temporarily stop the federal government’s ability to operate in every state, territory, and possession in the country for an additional 30 days, in order to give us additional time to develop an approach to reducing the spread of opioid addiction and opioid related deaths in the United States,” a White House statement read.
The order, which applies to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, also says the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies will be unable to accept new applications for federal contracts, and federal grants will be frozen for 30 days.
The move comes as Trump seeks to bolster his popularity with his base, which is critical in his reelection efforts.
Trump has said the opioid epidemic is “going to have to be dealt with” and that his administration is working to fix it.
The administration has already said it will not accept federal money to build a border wall or to build the border wall.
It has also announced a temporary moratorium on all federal funding to sanctuary cities.
The Trump administration has also threatened to shut down some federal offices and schools that are not in compliance with the law.
Trump announced the emergency order on Twitter, saying the government is “not going to be able to run” unless Congress acts.
Trump also said that he will be announcing a plan for how to tackle the opioid problem within a month, though he said the details are still being worked out.
The opioid crisis is “taking a toll on our nation, our economy, and our people,” Trump said.
“It’s a disaster and we need a plan in place that can deal with it.
We need to find solutions to save lives, and we can’t continue to allow this crisis to fester and to poison our communities.”
The president has been criticized for a slow response to the crisis, which has been blamed for thousands of deaths.
Trump’s order to suspend federal operations in the U.S. and all other states also includes a ban on foreign aid, as well as a ban for refugees.
“Our country will not be the same,” Trump tweeted, adding that the order was meant to prevent the spread and increase the number of drug overdoses in the nation.
The U.N. has called for a $1.2 trillion emergency plan for the crisis and says more than 5,400 people have died since the beginning of the crisis in February.