Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Declaration of national emergency still possible over ‘crisis’ at border

Declaration of national emergency still possible over ‘crisis’ at border

"The President's authority in this area is intended for wars and genuine national emergencies", Evan Hollander, communications director of the House Appropriations Committee, told CNN. He also asserted: "I want to stop the Shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on Strong Border Security!"

"Our goal in the meeting at the White House was to open up government", Pelosi said. Collins, who has long argued against shutdowns and tried to broker resolutions to past stalemates, is one of several senators voicing discomfort with the prolonged closure.

What's more, Trump for the second time in three days threatened to use his executive powers to kick-start a project to build a southern border wall over the objections of Democrats. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, right, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speak to reporters along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, in Washington, Jan. 4, 2019. If they don't want to, it's going to go on for a long time. "The impression you get from the president [is] that he would like to not only close government, build a wall, but also abolish Congress, so that the only voice that mattered was his own". Such a move would seem certain to draw legal challenges.

While not the administration's preferred plan, the use of emergency powers to fund the wall "provides a way out" amid a series of contentious meetings and disagreements among Department of Homeland Security officials and Democratic lawmakers over basic facts related to border security, the official said.

Washington state Democrat and House Armed Services chair Adam Smith said President Donald Trump does have the authority to declare a "national emergency" and use USA military troops to build his Mexican border wall.

Showing little empathy for the hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed or working without pay, Trump declared - without citing evidence - that most are Democrats.

He said he plans to call steel companies to ask them for a design for his wall.

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In a news conference last Friday, Trump suggested he would back off his demands for a concrete wall, which was a signature campaign promise.

PHOTO: A Mexican migrant holds her baby as she is taken into custody by Border Patrol officers after she jumped the border fence to get into the USA side in San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Dec. 29, 2018. But Trump has repeatedly said he will not budge without money for the wall.

The White House switchboard and the call-in phone line to the White House are not operating due to the government shutdown, so it is unclear what calls he is referring to, of if any such calls actually occurred. Democrats familiar with the meeting said the White House position was "untenable".

"This is a very important battle to win, in terms of safety, number one, defining our country, and who we are", Trump said.

In 2017, Trump's first year in office, he continued to insist on the urgent need for a border wall, even as illegal crossings dropped further.

Speaking with reporters outside of the White House, Trump said, "We'll obviously be discussing the wall, which is desperately needed". His negotiations with Democrats are at an impasse over funding for a border wall.

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