President Donald Trump expressed optimism that a deal could be reached with Democratic lawmakers to end a partial government shutdown, in brief comments at a bill signing Wednesday, but warned that he may declare a national emergency if the talks continue to drag on for too long.
Trump has floated the idea in recent days that he may declare a national emergency at the southern border under his authority as commander-in-chief, which would then authorize him to begin construction on the wall with military funds.
“We’re all working together. I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together,” Trump told reporters. “Otherwise, we’ll go about it in a different manner,” he continued, alluding to the declaration of a national emergency, but added, “I don’t think we’ll have to do that.” (RELATED: Here’s What Would Happen If Trump Declared A National Emergency To Build The Wall)
Asked specifically on his thinking about declaring a national emergency, Trump replied, “I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t, we might go that route.”
Trump’s comments come the day after a nine-minute national address from the Oval Office, which noted a migrant crisis on the southern border and emphasized the need for a border wall. Trump is demanding $5.7 billion for border wall funding but Democrats are saying they will not negotiate with him until the government is re-opened.
Democrats previously said they would offer no more than $1.6 billion in funding for border security. The partial government shutdown has now entered its 19th day, the effects of which are being felt throughout the country.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that he believes Trump will “lay out the argument on why the wall is necessary, he’s going to try to work with Congress, and if he can’t get the funds, he’s going to think outside the box and do what he needs to do to secure the American public.” Judd added that he believes Trump will eventually declare a state of emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border and use military funds to build the border wall.