President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters in the White House there's a "good chance" he will end up declaring a national emergency as a way to make an end run around Congressional funding authority even though legal experts have warned such an attempt would be constitutionally dubious.
"I think there's a good chance we'll have to do that," said of the emergency declaration. Regarding ongoing negotiations in Congress to avoid another costly government shutdown, with a deadline in two weeks, Trump said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "should be ashamed" for refusing to give the Republicans the funding for the wall he has demanded.
Trump additionally claimed that many Democrats agree with him on the need for a wall and are "dying" to say so, but just "can't say it" out loud because of fear.
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Trump, without citing the evidence, added that he was "already building the wall," but that he could do it a lot faster if Congress would either approve the funds or after the national emergency was declared. As Bloomberg reports:
Trump once again called a congressional conference committee debating border security a "waste of time" and said his administration was proceeding with the construction of 115 miles of wall on the border with Mexico using money "on hand." The conference committee is trying to agree to compromise legislation between Democrats, Republicans and the White House in order to avoid another government shutdown after Feb. 15.
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. House Democrats have threatened to sue over such a move.
When Trump first threaten to declare a national emergency as a way to get the wall last month, Common Dreams reported on legal scholars who warned that "the American constitution does not contemplate such presidential unilateralism."