U.S. President Donald Trump is still considering a possible declaration of a national emergency in order to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the southern border with Mexico, the White House said on Wednesday.
As the partial shutdown of the federal government over wall funding entered its 19th day, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said a national emergency declaration is “certainly still an option, something that’s on the table.”
Still, Sanders said the White House hoped the administration and U.S. lawmakers could find a solution to the wall funding.
“We’re hopeful, again, that they’ll get serious about doing their jobs and work with us,” Sanders said. “We’ve shown our willingness to work with them.”
Sanders’ comments come after Trump sought to build public support for his demand of $5.7 billion for the border wall in a televised address on Tuesday night.
Trump stopped short of an emergency declaration in his televised speech but repeated his assertion that illegal immigrants and drugs flowing across the southern border are a serious threat to American safety.
Democrats and other opponents of a border wall have threatened to take legal action if Trump issued the order.
By declaring a national emergency, Trump could circumvent Congress’ authority under the U.S. Constitution to appropriate funds and redirect money at his direction. The law allows Congress to override such a decision but would require approval by both the U.S. House of Representatives, where Democrats have a majority, and the Republican-dominated Senate.
Building the wall and having Mexico pay for it was a primary theme of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Democrats have denounced a wall as immoral, inefficient and costly, but said they support additional funding for other border security measures including increased border agents and technology.
Before the partial shutdown began on Dec. 22, Trump said he would be “proud” to close the government over the issue of border security and would not blame Democrats. He has since said they are responsible.
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott
Confederate battle flag banned — Marine Corps declares it a ‘threat to our core values’
The United States Marine Corps banned the public display of the Confederate battle flag on Friday.
"Depictions of the Confederate battle flag are unauthorized in public and work spaces aboard an installation," the Marine Corps wrote in guidance to the troops.
The ban applies to bumper stickers, clothing and flags among other items.
"The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps," the Marines explained.
"Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society," the continued. "The presents a threat to our core values, unit cohesion, security, and good order and discipline."
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Trump is ‘a soulless man with a broken mind’: George Conway calls out his wife’s boss in scathing op-ed
George Conway, the prominent Republican attorney married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, blasted his wife's boss in a new Washington Post op-ed published online on Friday evening.
"Until three brief months ago, President Trump never faced a serious crisis, at least one not of his own making. But now he has faced two, and is failing two, in short order: the covid-19 pandemic, with its concomitant economic devastation; and now social unrest, and rioting, stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody," Conway wrote. "Lacking in humanity, Trump has had no idea how to handle either one."