Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney suggested Sunday that President Donald Trump could still declare a national emergency to obtain funding for a $5.7 billion wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
What did he say?
"It's still better to get it through legislation," Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday." "That's the right way to do it. But at the end of the day, the president is going to secure the border one way or another."
Mulvaney added, "He'll do it with or without Congress."
Asked if Trump will budge on the $5.7 billion amount for the project, Mulvaney said: "The president's not married to a number, he's married to border security which is the right thing for the President of the United States to do."
Trump on Friday signed a bill that ended the partial government shutdown for three weeks. According to Mulvaney, Trump made the move because Democrats have indicated they are willing to negotiate on the border wall issue. The president and Congress now have until Feb. 15 to reach an agreement.
One concern is whether another partial shutdown could happen if both sides fail to reach an agreement.
"No one wants a government shutdown," Mulvaney said. "But when a president vetoes a bill that's put in front of him on a spending package, sometimes that has the effect of shutting the government down. We don't go into this trying to shut the government down."
On Friday, Trump said that if he doesn't get a "fair deal" from Congress, the government will either shut down again or he will "use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security."
CNN reported Thursday that Trump staffers are already preparing a draft proclamation to declare a national emergency to secure funds for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Such a move could be met with legal opposition from immigration activists and land conservation groups, which would tie up the process.