Donald Trump threatens to call national emergency to fund wall
Lawmakers remain deadlocked with US president over funding for border wall
Donald Trump has told reporters he is considering declaring a national emergency to secure funding to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.
“I may declare a national emergency dependent on what's going to happen over the next few days,” Trump said, following fruitless meetings with Democrats to find a solution to the political stalemate behind a partial government shutdown.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump would be able to use military funding to build a border wall.
Vice President Mike Pence held a meeting with congressional leaders yesterday, however after the meeting “there was little indication they were getting close to a deal to reopen the government”, CNN says.
The acting budget director Russell Vought did, however, provide more details for the funding request in a letter outlining billions of dollars worth of spending for which the Trump administration is holding out.
It includes $5.7 billion for a “steel barrier”, which Vought described as “a physical infrastructure to provide requisite impedance and denial”, along with a further $800 million to address “urgent humanitarian needs”.
Additionally, the letter calls for $798 million to fund more detention beds, and $571 million for an extra 2,000 law enforcement officers.
The Washington Post says that talks on the weekend to try to end the government shutdown failed in part because the White House “hasn’t been forthcoming about how the money would be used or why the request is for so much more than the administration sought only a few months ago”.