Unable to get support for his border wall President Trump with his failed speech on Tuesday night, President Trump said on Wednesday that he may declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build a border wall if spending talks fail, The Hill reports.
The president said he has the “absolute right” to declare an emergency, even though some legal scholars and Democratic lawmakers say he does not.
Trump said that his “threshold” for declaring a national emergency is if he cannot reach a deal with congressional Democrats, who have rejected his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The comments come one day after the disastrous speech to the nation in a televised address in which he claimed that a “humanitarian crisis” caused by drug trafficking and illegal immigration exists on the southern border and his proposed wall is the only thing that can stop it.
Democratic leaders didn’t buy Trump’s lies:
“It’s much harder to achieve a good negotiation while the government’s shut down,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at the Capitol. “The first order of business — we’ll continue to negotiate — the first order of business: open up the government.”
Schumer and Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) will return to the White House later Wednesday to resume talks with Trump and his top staff.
Two such meetings last week yielded little progress in resolving the partial government shutdown, which is in its 19th day, but Trump expressed optimism about the talks.
“We’re all working together,” he said. “I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together.”
But Pelosi earlier Wednesday accused the White House of changing its demands too many times in the shutdown battle, which began on Dec. 22 after Trump rejected a deal worked out in the Senate that would have kept the government open until Feb. 8, buying time for more talks.
“The White House seems to move the goal posts. Every time they come with a proposal, they walk away from it. Pretty soon these goals posts won’t even be in the stadium,” she said.