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Trump says good chance to declare national emergency for border wall funding

Staff Writer | February 2, 2019
U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that there's "a good chance" that he will declare a national emergency to obtain funding for his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Donald Trump
America   President Donald Trump
Trump made the comments at a White House event as he appeared downbeat about the prospect that Democrats would agree to give money to build the border wall as congressional negotiations on border security adjourned for the weekend.

"I could see we're getting nowhere with the Democrats, we're not going to get anywhere with them," the president said. "We will be looking at a national emergency because I don't think anything's going to happen."

Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of declaring a national emergency, a legally-mandated executive power of a U.S. president, while claiming that there's a "humanitarian crisis" at the nation's southern border with Mexico due to illegal immigration, which Democrats have rebuked.

Such a declaration would enable Trump to bypass congressional approval and redirect funds already allocated by Congress for other purposes, possibly at the Pentagon, to his wall, but is almost certain to draw political backlash and legal challenges.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that "there's not going to be any wall money" in legislation as part of border security measures for the rest of this year.

The California Democrat also said that she was open to negotiating funding for more ports of entry or additional border security technology.

A bipartisan conference committee of lawmakers from the Republican-held Senate and Democrat-controlled House is tasked with negotiating a deal on border security, with a Feb. 15 deadline.

About a quarter of federal government reopened last week after Trump ratified a bill funding them for three weeks, ending a historic 35-day partial government shutdown.

The shutdown was a result of an impasse between the White House and Congressional Democrats over whether to provide billions of U.S. dollars for the Trump-proposed border wall.