Trump can declare national emergency: House Armed Services Committee chair

Democrats, though, said the administration failed in both the meeting and the letter to provide a full budget of how it would spend the billions requested on the wall, money the president wants from Congress. Among Senate GOP moderates, Susan Collins of ME expressed support for the Democratic move on Sunday.

This was not the first time the president has suggested using the military to build the wall, nor was it the first time he has suggested the situation amounts to a national emergency.

President Trump said he doesn't expect anything to come out of Sunday's meeting after Saturday's produced no movement toward reopening the government.

Opposition Democrats have blocked funding for the wall, but offered $1.3 billion in new spending for border security.

Trump also plans a trip Thursday to the southern border to highlight his demands for the wall.

The president characterized the second day of talks between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic congressional aides as "productive" after saying earlier in the day that he did not anticipate much progress.

So while Democrats negotiate with lower-level aides, and even Vice President Mike Pence, there's no reason for them to take any deal or concession seriously until it comes out of the president's mouth.

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, defended Trump on CNN's "State of the Union", arguing that the president has "a great deal of latitude over how the government is run".

Sanders said Trump is "not going to stop" until he figures out the best way to protect USA citizens and that "whatever action he takes will certainly be lawful". He wrongly claimed that he'd never called for the wall to be concrete.

"I may declare a national emergency, dependent on what's going to happen over the next few days", he said.

He said the president has invited Democratic leaders back to the White House this week for new talks, but so far there has been no response.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a priority would be to reopen the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, "an action necessary to make sure working families received their tax refunds on schedule".

"[Democrats] don't like concrete, so we'll give them steel".

House Democrats plan to pass a series of bills this week to reopen government, breaking up legislation they have already approved in a bid to get Republicans to agree to reopen certain agencies, Hoyer said on "Meet the Press".

Trump's recent remarks about a possible emergency declaration appear to reiterate remarks he made days ago at a January 4 open press conference in the Rose Garden. After bowing to his base and refusing to compromise with Democrats, Schiff said, Trump needs to "figure out how he unpaints himself from that corner".

Trump said in December he would be "proud" to shut the government down over the wall and last week told lawmakers it could last months.

In his announcement speech during that election, Trump had promised that "I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively". Democratic lawmakers say they will offer the president no more than 1.6 billion dollars in funding, and stipulate that the funding continently can not be used to fund a concrete border wall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Republican-controlled upper chamber won't consider any bills without the president's support.

  • Rogelio Becker