Trump only recently backed away from talk of an emergency declaration, after pressing it for days as a way out of the continuing budget standoff.
Democrats have strongly opposed the idea. The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, said Sunday on ABC that “if this president is going to turn to national emergencies every time he disagrees with Congress, I’m against it.”
Top Republican lawmakers on Sunday warned against Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to secure funds for a border wall, signaling doubts within the president’s party as a government shutdown was set to enter a fourth workweek. Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told CNN that he would “hate” to see Trump invoke emergency powers for a wall.
“If we do that, it’s going to go to court and the wall won’t get built,” he said.
And Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, told ABC, “We don’t want it to come down to a national emergency declaration,” even if he believes Trump has the authority to do so.
He urged Trump to “put an end to the shutdown and put everything on the table.”
As the partisan battle drags on, the effects of the partial shutdown have become steadily clearer, and new polls show growing public dissatisfaction. On Sunday, Trump acknowledged, at least indirectly, the mounting costs of the shutdown.
Opponents say such a unilateral presidential move would be constitutional overreach and set a dangerous precedent.
The partial shutdown became the longest on record at midnight Friday, when it overtook a 21-day stretch in 1995-1996 under president Bill Clinton.