POTUS Donald Trump is leaning more towards declaring a national emergency and using military funds to build at least a portion of a border wall if talks with Democratic leaders continue to stall in his attempt to reach a deal to fund now-shuttered government agencies.
The administration says it would prefer to reach a deal with Congress on a spending bill that would fund those agencies that included money for physical border barriers.
However, the White House notes that using emergency powers “provides a way out” for the White House amid stalled talks with Democrats, according to one official who spoke to CNN.
“We can only stay like this for so long,” the official said, CNN reported, noting that the unnamed official attended both meetings with congressional leaders at the White House with POTUS Trump this week.
Meanwhile, the partial government shutdown is entering its third week, and the president has said publicly he would reject any spending bill that did not include $5.6 billion in wall funding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week he would not bring any House spending bill to a vote in his chamber that had no chance of being signed by the president.
On Friday, POTUS noted during remarks in the Rose Garden that “we can call a national emergency because of the security of our country,” hinting that he may choose that route if he can’t get Democrats to go along with wall funding.
“I haven’t done it. I may do it,” Trump said. “We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly.”
Negotiations reportedly became contentious last week during a presentation to congressional leaders by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
At one point, the White House official told CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., interjected and said, “I don’t believe your facts.”
“In presentations made, they have repeatedly used statistics not supported by fact. They’re trying to cast every single migrant as a terrorist or someone with a violent criminal history. The secretary has proven herself to not be credible on these issues,” a Pelosi aide told the network.
In response, DHS Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said, “We put the facts and statistics out there publicly and transparently to inform the conversation about the humanitarian crisis at our southern border.
“It is a shame that some congressional staff want to ignore the facts and ignore this crisis. As always, we stand by to explain these difficult problems to those seeking to better understand the issues and find solutions,” Houlton told the network.
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