President Donald Trump threw ice on speculation of an upcoming deal with Congressional Democrats to finally fund a ‘big, beautiful’ wall on the southern border in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
The prospect of an impossible chasm between the White House and House Democrats makes the option of declaring a national emergency to properly fund a construct a border wall a more realistic pathway to beginning its construction for the President. However, Trump did say that another government shutdown was “certainly an option” in his Sunday interview, making it possible that Democrats declining to provide an acceptable offer for government funding could place the federal government back at square one.
The President assuaged concerns from his supporters over the outcome of the protracted government shutdown in a tweet Sunday, after agreeing to a deal that ended the shutdown without the $5.7 billion in wall funding he had been seeking. With prospects for negotiation with Democrats seeming increasingly fruitless, it’s beginning to look more and more likely that the White House will have to turn to the declaration of a national emergency to properly fulfill Trump’s signature campaign promise of a southern border wall.
It’s possible that progressives and moderates within the Republican Party could try to use the President’s determination to follow through on wall construction as a crack through which to sneak a massive amnesty for illegal immigrants. Trump told the WSJ that he doubted he would be presented with an acceptable deal for wall funding that would involve American citizenship being extended to those in the country illegally.
The White House has floated February as the time frame in which a national emergency could be declared. It’s likely that such a declaration would be met with a flurry of progressive legal challenges appealing to activist judges to stop the project, but there’s considerable legal precedent placing national security-related federal infrastructure projects with Presidential powers.
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