President Donald Trump has suggested that he would declare a national emergency in order to get funding to build his proposed wall along US-Mexico border.
Speaking to reporters at a White House anti-human-trafficking event on Friday, Trump said there was a “good chance” he would make such a declaration during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have to do that. But we will at the same time be building, regardless, we’re building a wall. And we’re building a lot of wall. But I can do it a lot faster the other way.”
“Well, I’m saying listen closely to the State of the Union. I think you’ll find it very exciting,” Trump said when asked again about the same issue.
The declaration, which he has threatened for weeks, could help free up billions of dollars in construction money for the wall.
The president had made similar comments earlier in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday.
“I’ll continue to build the wall and we’ll get the wall finished,” he said. “Now whether or not I declare a national emergency — that you’ll see.”
On January 25, Trump signed legislation to temporarily end the longest government shutdown, dropping his previous insistence on immediate funding for wall construction.
The spending bill Trump and Democrats agreed to does not contain the $5.7 billion he needs for the wall.
The president’s comments on Friday came a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was not going to be any wall money in any deal congressional negotiators reach to avert another government shutdown.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pelosi said she would allow a vote on any agreement the conference committee reaches in the next few weeks, but, “There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation.”