President Donald Trump has a “Plan B” in case Democrats don’t offer wall funding in the next three weeks.
Trump signed a measure on Friday to keep the government open until Feb. 15 so that Republicans and Democrats can negotiate a deal on funding for the wall.
The short-term deal does not include any upfront money for the border wall, but the president said he will declare a national emergency if Democrats do not agree to a deal in three weeks.
That gives Trump and Democrats three weeks to reach a compromise on allocating at least $5 billion in wall funding — or Trump, as he said, will declare a national emergency.
Trump’s apparent “Plan B” is the fact that he has not ruled out another shutdown, which he’s hoping will serve as motivation for both parties to strike a deal.
While speaking with The Wall Street Journal, the president said another shutdown is “certainly an option” if Democrats do not offer additional funding for a physical barrier at the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
Two weeks ago, Trump offered a deal where he would get $5.7 billion for a wall to cover high-traffic areas in exchange for more humanitarian aid, additional immigration judges, and three-year protection for those with DACA or TPS protections.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims she won’t budge on not supporting a wall, Trump has also made it clear he’s not budging.
He also told the WSJ that he doubts he would sign a bill with less than $5.7 billion for wall funding, saying, “I have to do it right.”
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As part of the short-term spending bill that Trump signed last week, the roughly 800,000 federal government employees will receive back pay for missing their previous paycheck.
The deal does not include any upfront money for the border wall, but the president said he will declare a national emergency — which would allocate billions of dollars for the border wall — if Democrats do not agree to a deal in three weeks.
“Walls should not be controversial,” Trump said, adding that the steel barrier will have cutting-edge technology, monitors, and sensors to “stop illicit flows of drugs and illegal immigrants.”
The president also called for hiring more Border Patrol agents and getting more resources at ports of entry to ensure drugs are not being smuggled into the nation.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders hit Democrats with an ultimatum over the shutdown and wall.
Sanders took to Twitter and quoted a tweet from Trump, where he said the administration will move forward with building the border wall in 21 days.
“In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing,” Sanders wrote.
In 21 days President @realDonaldTrump is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats. The only outstanding question is whether the Democrats want something or nothing https://t.co/dMaDfBOIuT
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) 26 января 2019 г.
The Trump administration has reportedly created a draft version outlining the idea of Trump declaring a national emergency to set aside $7 billion for the wall.
The draft reportedly states that the Department of Defense would build the wall along the southern border if Democrats do not agree to a deal.