Donald Trump threatens years-long government shutdown, emergency powers to build wall

05 January, 2019, 09:56 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Trump digs in on Day 12 of shutdown, calling a border wall timeless, not antiquated -- like the wheel

"It's called a national emergency". Nearly certainly, Trump would be charged with abusing his power, or impeachment articles would be drafted and passed onto the senate, where Republicans would be forced to come to Trump's aid or else finally denounce the party's embarrassment of a leader-unless this rock-solid argument persuaded them otherwise.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll last week showed that 50 percent of the public blames Trump for the shutdown and 7 percent blames Republican lawmakers, while 32 percent blames Democrats.

Trump declared he could keep parts of the government closed for "months or even years" as he and Democratic leaders failed in a second closed-door meeting to resolve his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico.

When asked if he was considering declaring a national emergency in order to obtain funding for his border wall, as ABC News reported he was, Trump confirmed he "may do it".

He dismissed those concerns in a news briefing at the White House.

"We had a very, very productive meeting, and we've come a long way", Trump said. During his run for the White House, Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the wall. "San Diegans want smart, innovative border security - not the wasteful wall that President Trump wants to build as a monument to himself".

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All Democrats voted for the spending package, along with the support of seven Republicans. But its prospects are grim in the Republican-led Senate, which previously approved similar measures on the floor or in committee but has since fallen in line with Trump's demands for funding for the border wall.

Trump triggered the shutdown, which began on December 22, by insisting that $5 billion in funding for the border wall be part of any spending measure.

Trump said multiple times that a "see-through wall made out of steel is far stronger than a concrete wall".

The U.S. Constitution assigns Congress the power to fund the federal government, so Trump likely would face legal challenges if he tried to bypass Congress on financing the wall.

Federal agencies such as the Justice Department, Commerce Department and departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior and Treasury have been hit by the shutdown.

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