As talks resumed Sunday to negotiate an end to the partial U.S. government shutdown that has thrown the livelihood of some 800,000 federal workers into uncertainty, President Donald Trump repeated his threats that he could declare a national emergency to get a wall built between the U.S. and Mexico.
“I may declare a national emergency dependent on what’s going to happen over the next few days,” Trump reportedly said again on Sunday, after making similar threats in the past few days in televised press meetings — and claiming that the partial U.S. government shutdown could last months or over a year.
London Bureau Chief Martin Baccardax discussed the shutdown on TheStreet’s Trading Strategies podcast.
Trump’s statements come as Vice President Mike Pence said that negotiations on the shutdown between White House officials and congressional staffers were continuing.
“We’re back at the White House this afternoon working with bipartisan staff from Congressional leadership,” said Pence over Twitter in the late afternoon Sunday, adding that Trump “is committed to securing the border, building the wall, & working to reopen our government.”
Congressional aides and Trump administration officials had also met the day prior — but with low expectations of resolving the budget bill and wall funding.
While Pence, who hosted the discussion, said afterward over Twitter that the talks were “productive,” Trump said that “not much headway” was made.
The meeting — which included Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner — came as Democratic lawmakers and Trump argue over a budget bill that has stalled over the president’s demand that $5.6 billion be included to fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. During the 2016 election, building the wall on Mexico’s dime was Trump’s central campaign promise.
Democratic leadership has balked at the idea of funding the wall, but has offered money for other border security measures.
After Trump waved the idea of declaring a national emergency to build the wall, Democrats said they would respond with legal challenges.
“He’ll face a challenge, I’m sure,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat of California, meanwhile promised over the weekend that House Democrats would begin passing individual appropriations bills to re-open government agencies.