After the longest-ever government shut down, the United States might now be heading towards a national emergency over the US-Mexico border wall funding dispute between the president and the Congress.
President Donald Trump on Friday said that there is "a good chance" that he will declare a national emergency to obtain funding for his long-promised border wall.
"I could see we're getting nowhere with the Democrats, we're not going to get anywhere with them. We will be looking at a national emergency because I don't think anything's going to happen," Trump said at a White House event on Friday. According to news agency Hinhua, the president appeared downbeat about the prospect that Democrats would agree to give money to build the border wall as congressional negotiations on border security adjourned for the weekend.
Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of declaring a national emergency, a legally-mandated executive power of a US president, while claiming there is a "humanitarian crisis" at the nation's southern border with Mexico due to illegal immigration, which Democrats have rebuked.
Such a declaration would enable Trump to bypass congressional approval and redirect funds already allocated by Congress for other purposes, possibly at the Pentagon, to his wall, but is almost certain to draw political backlash and legal challenges.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that "there's not going to be any wall money" in legislation as part of border security measures for the rest of this year.
The California Democrat also said she was open to negotiating funding for more ports of entry or additional border security technology.
A bipartisan conference committee of lawmakers from the Republican-held Senate and Democrat-controlled House is tasked with negotiating a deal on border security, with a February 15 deadline.
About a quarter of federal government reopened last week after Trump ratified a bill funding them for three weeks, ending a historic 35-day partial government shutdown.
The shutdown was a result of an impasse between the White House and Congressional Democrats over whether to provide billions of US dollars for the Trump-proposed border wall.
(With inputs from IANS)