Published: Sat, January 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump says he could use emergency powers to build border wall

Trump says he could use emergency powers to build border wall

The government is in its 14th day of a partial government shutdown over Trump's insistence for funding of his proposed wall at the U.S. -Mexico border. People familiar with the session but not authorized to speak publicly described Trump as holding forth at length on a range of subjects but said he made clear he was firm in his demand for $5.6 billion in wall funding and in rejecting the Democrats' request to reopen the government.

The US president told Democrats he was also considering declaring a national emergency so he could bypass US Congress and secure the funds necessary.

The bill, among the first to be considered as Democrats take control of the House after eight years, would make it easier for citizens to register and vote, would tighten election security and would require presidents to disclose their tax returns. The president threatened to keep nine US departments closed "for a very long period of time - months or even years" - until he gets the funding, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "Months or even years".

"In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long time - months or even years", the New York Democrat said. "I will do whatever we have to do".

White House officials and congressional staffers will meet at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on Saturday to try to end the impasse, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

"I did, absolutely, I said that", Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, after he was asked to confirm an account of a meeting by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

Trump said the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay would want him to "keep going" and fight for border security. The American people gave Congress a mandate: to finally start conducting credible oversight and start enacting reforms. "Paychecks are being withheld". "But in any event I'm not in the censorship business", she said in comments aired Friday on MSNBC.

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"It isn't cost effective", Pelosi added, arguing that money would be better spent on border security technology such as drones and cameras, and on hiring more border patrol agents. One bill would allow eight shuttered departments to reopen and operate through the end of September, while the other would fund the Department of Homeland Security through February 8.

On Friday, House Democrats are set to unveil a comprehensive elections and ethics reform package that targets what they call a "culture of corruption in Washington" and aims to reduce the role of money in politics.

Pelosi found herself on the spot for Tlaib's comments Friday morning but insisted she wouldn't intervene with the new lawmaker, despite calling talk of impeachment 'divisive'.

"No, no. Nothing for the wall", Pelosi said in an interview aired on Thursday on NBC's "Today" show. "So we'll just have to see how it comes".

And in a speech to a progressive advocacy group Thursday night, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., used an expletive in vowing to impeach Trump.

Trump tweeted. "How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russian Federation, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?"

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