Trump wall emergency a 'good chance'

Arturo Kim
February 3, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters asking about the threat of another government shutdown following their weekly strategy meeting, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.

According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D., Calif., President Trump is "forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall".

Trump has repeatedly threatened to declare a national emergency on the border, which he says would allow him to transfer money from elsewhere in the government to build his promised border wall without congressional approval.

Hammill said Trump had mischaracterized Pelosi's position, since she has proposed ways to secure the border without a wall.

On Thursday, though, Trump said, "Let's just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games!" Pelosi has called the wall expensive, ineffective and immoral.

Trump's threat comes well before the expiration of a February 15 deadline that he set for Congress to agree on funding for wall construction.

House Democrats have threatened to sue over such a move. "I don't think Democrats want border security".

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John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, dismissed Trump's tweet suggesting the talks are a waste of time . But then she was pushed on whether that applies to a deal that includes border security.

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"I think she's very bad for our country", Trump said when asked what he learned in his negotiations with Pelosi.

In a "Face the Nation" interview set to air Sunday, Trump told host Margaret Brennan the congresswoman was engaging in "very bad politics" in hopes of scoring "a political point". "She doesn't mind human trafficking or she wouldn't do this".

"It's very hard to do human trafficking through ports of entry because you have people standing there saying hey what's going on in the backseat, what's going on in the trunk. This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of our whole handsome, wonderful nation", Trump said in remarks in the Rose Garden last Friday, announcing the end of a 35-day partial government shutdown. The wall is part of a larger border security package requested by experts at the Department of Homeland Security.

Under the US Constitution, Congress holds the national purse strings and approves major expenditures of taxpayer funds.

President Trump said Friday his administration is already making such good progress in building the border wall that his iconic campaign chant should change from "build the wall" to "finish the wall". Such a step likely would prompt a court challenge from Democrats.

"I think there's a good chance that we'll have to do that", he added, referring to declaring a national emergency. He said he's looking at declaring a national emergency because he doesn't think "anything is going to happen" with funding it. A McConnell spokesman declined to discuss the senator's private conversations.

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