Trump can declare national emergency: House Armed Services Committee chair

Larry Hoffman
January 7, 2019

The US leader on Friday said he told ranking Democrats that he was prepared to keep the government partially closed for years, or as long as it takes to secure congressional support for his proposed border security project.

The federal agency tasked with guaranteeing United States airport security acknowledged an increase in the number of its employees calling off work during the partial government shutdown.

The standoff - which has heavily affected national parks and other operations and threatens to halt payments as varied as food stamps and tax refunds - has made Trump's unrealised wall the linchpin of his presidency as he seeks to make good on a signature campaign promise.

A meeting between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders on Friday included so many expletives that Trump reportedly apologised to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats, who took control of the House last week, passed a bill to reopen the government without wall funding. "I don't call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country". "It can be steel", Trump told reporters at the White House before heading to his Maryland retreat at Camp David for discussions with key administration officials about border security and policies they plan to pursue this year. "It may be better", he said. That might indicate that blame is shifting from who caused the shutdown in the first place (pretty clearly Trump, who refused to sign a bill he'd previously signaled he'd support) to who is now preventing it from being resolved (less clear). "I'm not going to give wall money just to give wall money".

"It'll be discussed", he said on NBC.

"I think this is going to drag on a lot longer".

But the White House and congressional Democratic negotiators can't even agree on "basic facts", and Democrats are stalling because they think Trump is losing the battle over public opinion, he said.

Trump tweeted Sunday morning: "The only reason they do not want to build a Wall is that Walls Work!"

Talks to end the partial shutdown will resume later on Sunday local time, with the stalemate now in its third week, affecting some 800,000 federal workers.

Trump is demanding that any funding to keep the federal government operational also include money to help build a US$23 billion wall along the USA border with Mexico.

"I may do it", Trump said.

"I can relate, and I'm sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do, and they'll make adjustments", Trump said.

Not all Republicans agree with Trump's insistence on keeping many government agencies shuttered until the border debate is resolved.

The House then passed a bill including funding for the wall, when the Republicans still had a majority there, but they could not get the necessary 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate.

Pelosi said that she has a "generational" reaction to that language and wouldn't use it, but that she won't censor her colleagues.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in a separate interview on the same program that talks on Saturday to reopen the government "did not make much progress".

A White House official said the meeting included a briefing on border security by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "Not the other way around", Hoyer said.

Other reports by

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