President Donald Trump indicated he may be declaring a national emergency in order to get funding for the border wall.
Following his Oval Office address to the nation on Tuesday, the president said he has the “absolute right” to declare an emergency and noted that his “threshold” for doing so would be if he is unable to reach an agreement with “people who are unreasonable,” presumably referring to congressional Democrats who will not agree to his request for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t, I might go that route,” Trump told reporters at a bill-signing event in the Oval Office Wednesday.
“We’re all working together. I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together,” Trump said after signing the bill, The Washington Post reported. “Otherwise, we’ll go about it in a different manner.”
“I don’t think we’ll have to do that” but you never know,” he added.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that declaring an emergency is “something that we’re still looking at, something that’s certainly still on the table.”
Question: “If there truly is a crisis at the border, why didn’t the President declare a national emergency in his speech?”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 9, 2019
She added that the “best solution” on the issue of border security is “to work with Congress.”
The president noted that the border wall still works despite criticism that it is a “medieval” solution, and he also told reporters that the shutdown could be a “blessing in disguise,” leading to better immigration policies.
“They say it’s a medieval solution, a wall. It’s true because it worked then and it works even better now,” Trump told reporters Wednesday, according to CNN.
“I would love to see a big immigration bill that would really take care of this situation,” he added. “Right now, we have a problem and we have to take care of this. But we would like to see real immigration reform in this country.”