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President Donald Trump is considering declaring a national emergency at the southern border in order to use his powers as commander-in-chief to begin construction of his proposed wall, he told reporters Sunday.
“I may decide a national emergency depending on what happens over the next few days,” Trump said Sunday, continuing to float an option as his administration negotiates with Democratic leaders over how to end a partial government shutdown. The partial government shutdown is stretching into its third week and centers on a high-stakes fight over funding for a wall along the southern border.
Trump is demanding $5.6 billion in funding for a barrier while Democratic lawmakers are offering up $1.3 billion. Neither side has budged despite extensive negotiations with Trump heading to Camp David Sunday to receive briefings on the status of talks that occurred Saturday. Trump has agreed to reconvene with congressional leadership next week in order to continue progress.
“We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. It’s another way of doing it. We can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving that a shot,” he said.
Trump said the suggestion was not a threat to Democratic lawmakers but merely noted that it was an option available to him. Trump held his press conference with reporters in the Rose Garden after emerging from a nearly two-hour long meeting at the White House with congressional leaders of both parties.