Trump threatens to declare an emergency for wall money

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With less than two weeks for lawmakers to cut a deal on money for a border wall to avert another shutdown, President Donald Trump bashed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for refusing to give in.

"We will be looking at a national emergency because I don't think anything's going to happen", Trump said. Under those plans, some 95 miles of border barrier is being upgraded, and about 25 miles of the border is being newly sealed by fencing.

"We're not getting anywhere with them", Trump said during an event at the White House, citing what he called "tremendous obstruction by Democrats", who call their differences with the president a basic disagreement over immigration policy.

Hammill said Trump had mischaracterized Pelosi's position, since she has proposed ways to secure the border without a wall.

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He added, "She's costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars because what's happening is when you have a porous border and when you have drugs pouring in, and when you have people dying all over the country because of people like Nancy Pelosi who don't want to give proper border security for political reasons she's doing a bad disservice to our country".

Democratic control of the House, even as Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate, endangers Trump's legislative goals including wall funding.

"The chant now should be "finish the wall" as opposed to "build the wall" because we're building the wall", Mr. Trump said.

By declaring a national emergency on the border, Trump would in theory be able to tap unrelated funding to use wall construction.

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"I'm certainly thinking about it", he said of declaring the emergency.

Asked if Trump would acknowledge the shutdown in his speech, the administration official said the president will "definitely talk about immigration and about where we are in that debate and present a path forward".

Trump told Congressional leaders that he won't sign a spending bill which does not include funds for a border wall.

His latest comments came a day after Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, told reporters, "There's not going to be any wall money" in legislation to fund border security for the rest of this year. But it's highly likely to get at least slowed down and quite possibly stopped in the courts.

"I think there's a good chance that we'll have to do that".

Critics have noted that if he did declare a national emergency for that goal that it would nearly certainly be met with legal challenges.

Pelosi has said she was open to negotiating funding for more ports of entry or additional border security technology.

A defense official confirmed that the Pentagon was sending 3,500 additional active-duty troops to the border, for a total of 5,800 active-duty troops and 2,300 National Guard troops supporting the Department of Homeland Security's request for additional border security.

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