Donald Trump threatens emergency powers to pay for wall

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"The Democrats are apparently not going to negotiate until the government is open, and if you even open the government, the House isn't going to negotiate about funding for the wall".

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Thursday that's exactly what he fears might happen if President Trump uses the NEA statute to build a border wall.

"If we don't make a deal, I would say 100 percent but I don't want to say 100 percent", he said.

"We can declare a national emergency".

"Somebody's got to like get some energy to fix this", he said. However, many have argued that the move's legality is questionable and would be challenged.

Trump floated the idea last week of declaring a national emergency about the situation at the southern USA border in order to immediately move forward on construction of the wall.

A day after he stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders, Trump attacked them for refusing his demand, calling them harder to deal with than China, a rival power.

Further, a national emergency declaration would probably bring legal hurdles, as it could allow Trump the ability to use the military to build a wall instead of getting Congressional approval for its funding.

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"I think we should do it legislatively", Jordan told reporters, "because if [Trump] goes the emergency route, I'm convinced it's going to wind up in court".

Democrats have offered more resources to improve border security, including new infrastructure, more personnel, and better technology, but Trump and the Republicans will not budge on wall funding. "But it might be the only way out of this", Manchin told reporters Thursday about an emergency declaration.

Pressure on both sides could intensify on Friday when about 800,000 federal employees miss their first paychecks.

The shutdown, which began on December 22, will be the longest in USA history if it is still going on by Saturday.

On Thursday, at his press conference in Texas, Trump claimed undocumented immigrants and illegal drugs were streaming across the border.

Raul Ortiz, a local border patrol official, told Trump and reporters that 133 people from countries other than Mexico and those in central America - including India, Pakistan, China and Romania - had been apprehended in the stretch of territory around McAllen.

Plagued by kidnappings, Reynosa is so risky for migrants that locals advise new arrivals against any trip alone out of the two shelters.

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