Mulvaney says Trump will use executive authority if Congress won't fund wall

Anna Jefferson
January 28, 2019

Blunt said, "We would all prefer to see this negotiated", rather than Trump declaring a national emergency to provide funding for a wall. Trump had announced that he would sign such a bill earlier Friday, and Congress passed the measure hours later, sending it to Trump's desk. Nancy Pelosi famously said that even if we open the government, she wouldn't give us a single dollar for the wall.

"This is not something where he's married to a number", Mulvaney argued, noting the request is based on what the experts say is needed. "So I think the president saw a chance here to try to take the Democrats at their word".

Gidley said that Trump had repeatedly asked for the sort of border funding that US security officials said they needed, only to encounter intransigent Democrats in Congress.

The announcement in the White House Rose Garden on the bipartisan deal marked a retreat by Trump, suspending a row that paralyzed Washington, disrupted air travel, and left more than 800,000 federal employees without pay for five weeks.

The dispute shuttered about a quarter of USA government operations for 35 days, before Trump on Friday agreed with a Democratic demand to reopen the government until February 15, without any wall funding, while the two sides negotiate over border security funding. "The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the Border & through dialogue. It's a national emergency", Trump told reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

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Mulvaney said, "No one wants [another] government shutdown".

The president demanded that $5.7 billion in wall funding be part of any measure to end the shutdown, which started when several agencies ran out of money on December 22 for reasons unrelated to immigration or border security.

Democrats say a wall would be too costly and ineffective.

Even though Trump ended the partial government shutdown last week, agreeing to a short-term spending bill that funds the government until February 15, the official date of the address is yet to be determined. "It's the wall, where we need it the most and where we need it the quickest".

"The president thought he could crack Democrats, and he didn't, and I hope it's a lesson for him", said the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of NY.

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Even though Democrats are off their planned message, they're benefiting in at least one way from the shutdown: voters are blaming Trump.

Mulvaney added that's a "marked difference from where the Democrat leadership was, where they said they wouldn't talk to us about border security ever".

Mulvaney added that the White House is still in negotiations with Congress and Trump "doesn't want to shut the government down" and would prefer to secure the funding "the way that things are supposed to get fixed with our government, which is through legislation".

The deal reached Friday does not include any money to be allocated toward building Trump's long-promised border wall, something that top Democrats have vehemently advocated against. But he maintained that Trump is ready to use emergency powers to secure the border if Democrats continue to balk at his demands. But Mulvaney said the USA leader would secure the border "with or without Congress", including by declaring a national emergency, if he has to.

The Trump administration asked federal department heads to reopen offices in a "prompt and orderly manner", saying that furloughed employees could return to work.

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