Washington: Hopeful that the Congress would give necessary approval to his demand for USD 5.7 billion to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border, President Donald Trump said Friday that declaring a national emergency by him on the border security issue is not going to be so fast.
Asserting that he is within his rights to declare a national emergency, Trump said that he still wants the Congress to approve the funding for the wall.
Trump had Wednesday said that imposing a national emergency is the last option and threatened to use it if the Democrats did not allocate USD 5.7 billion funding for his controversial US-Mexico border wall plan.
The President’s inclination towards declaring a national emergency gained momentum after he walked out Wednesday of a meeting with top Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, following their refusal to allocate the funding.
The Democrats have repeatedly refused to approve any legislation to fund the wall. The standoff has led to the partial government shutdown.
In response to a question from reporters regarding imposition of national emergency, Trump said, “I’m not going to do it so fast,” but added that he had the right to do so. He asserted that the Democrats in the Congress ‘should come back and vote’.
In the 116th Congress beginning this month, the opposition Democrats hold majority in House of Representatives and has significant numbers in the Senate to block its approval.
“We want the Congress to do its job. What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency,” the US president told reporters during a White House roundtable discussion with state, local, and community leaders on the need for strong border security and safe communities.
Trump termed human trafficking an ‘ancient crime’ enabled in the modern age by the Internet and the lack of a border wall.
On declaring a national emergency, Trump said, “It’s the easy way out but the Congress should do this (funding of the wall)… if they can’t do it I will declare a national emergency… I’ll be sued and it will be brought to the 9th Circuit… and we will probably lose there before a possible Supreme Court victory.” “I’d rather not go through such a process,” he added.
Trump also discussed the building materials he would like to use for a wall, and said, “Steel that has concrete inside…not a bad combination.”
Press Trust of India