President Trump on Friday appeared to back off the dramatic step of declaring a national emergency to secure border wall money, indicating he wants Congress to continue negotiating to end the 21-day partial government shutdown.
Trump said he would refrain from taking unilateral action on border security — just one day after he said he would “probably” do so within days — amid mounting pushback from his own GOP allies on Capitol Hill.
“We want Congress to do its job,” Trump told reporters Friday afternoon. “What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency.”
The White House is rethinking its strategy just one day before the federal government will enter its longest-ever stretch without funding. The sense of urgency for a deal is mounting, as 800,000 federal workers missed their first paycheck on Friday.
Pressure was also coming from congressional Republicans, who are increasingly skeptical of Trump’s plans for an executive order. Many have balked at the strategy as potential overreach — not unlike the GOP’s rhetoric against former President Obama’s unilateral immigration moves. They have also objected to the funding strategy Trump would use to pay for the wall after declaring an emergency.