President Trump: 'Good chance' I'll declare national emergency at border

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill on Wednesday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill on Wednesday

"I think there's a good chance we'll have to do that", the president told reporters during an extended pool spray of a meeting on human trafficking.

The president is referring to the carefully allotted $1.6 billion from Congress in the 2018 omnibus bill allowing him to replace or fix existing border structures on the southern border - but not build new structures.

Was the president referring to a possible upcoming emergency declaration in order to fund the wall without congressional approval?

With less than two weeks for lawmakers to cut a deal on money for a border wall to avert another shutdown, President Donald Trump bashed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for refusing to give in.

"The chant should be now, "Finish the wall" because we're building a lot of wall", he said to reporters during an event at the White House on Friday.

Yet Pelosi's other remark - "There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation" - underscored the linguistic battle underway. As of right now, portions of the government including the Department of Homeland Security are only funded until February 15 under an agreement on January 25 to end the 35-day partial shutdown that began December 22. "It's much more protective, but it looks better because the walls they used to build were not very attractive".

He claimed to have money "on hand" to work on barriers, but recently he has still been fighting with Democrats on getting the wall funded.

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Democrats remain united against those tactics. "They should have funded the wall then", they have a point.

At various times, Trump has called the barriers at the border an impenetrable concrete wall, and other times "steel slats", or a see-through barrier.

Earlier this week, McConnell, R-Ky., a longtime opponent of shutdowns, called the move "government dysfunction which should be embarrassing to everyone on a bipartisan basis". And while some Republicans have cautioned that an emergency declaration would set a risky precedent that could be used by Democratic presidents in the future, party leaders probably wouldn't mind moving on from the standoff over the wall and the threat of another shutdown. Some suggest that the president doesn't even need to make an emergency declaration to act unilaterally on the border wall.

Some are reluctant to cede Congress' constitutional power to control spending to any president, and many say there is no real border emergency.

"They think it's good policy for 2020", Mr. Trump said about Democratic opposition to the wall.

Without a border security accord, politicians could avert another shutdown by once again temporarily financing dozens of federal agencies, perhaps for months.

"You keep talking and try to understand where he is and try to work it out".

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