No Deal on the Wall

by Rebecca Kheel

Image result for trump leaving room cartoon

President Trump is doubling down on the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build his proposed border wall without congressional approval.

On Wednesday, Trump said he may declare a national emergency if spending talks fail.

“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t, we might go that route,” Trump told reporters during a bill signing in the Oval Office.

The president said he has the “absolute right” to declare an emergency, even though some legal scholars and Democratic lawmakers say he does not.

Trump added that his “threshold” for declaring a national emergency is if he cannot reach a deal with congressional Democrats, who have rejected his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Later: 

Trump made those comments before heading to the Senate to confer with GOP senators and a White House meeting with congressional leaders from both parties and chambers.

After the White House meeting, the shut down was no closer to being resolved.

Trump, for his part, called the meeting a “waste of time.”

“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted minutes after meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?” he continued. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

Vice President Pence confirmed Trump’s account of the meeting’s abrupt end to reporters, saying the president “said goodbye” after Pelosi spurned his request for a border wall.

“The president made clear today he is going to stand firm to achieve his priorities,” Pence said while standing alongside GOP leaders.

At the Pentagon:

Declaring a national emergency would likely mean dipping into Pentagon coffers, since U.S. law says it is military construction funding that can be used in the emergency.

But the Pentagon is staying mum on the issue. The Pentagon declined to comment Wednesday on the “hypothetical situation.”

“We currently have no such order so we are not going to provide information on a hypothetical situation,” spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said in an email to The Hill.

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