U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to a border security briefing at the White House as the federal government remained partially shut down over his demand to fund a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.
Democrats now lead the House, where they passed a bill late Thursday in hopes to end the partial government shutdown, however, it does not include President Trump's border wall funding, therefore, the Republican-run Senate is not expected to pass the bill.
It will be Trump's first meeting with Pelosi, who will take over as speaker of the House on Thursday, and Schumer, the Senate minority leader, since an acrimonious Oval Office meeting with the pair on December 11.
The U.S. Constitution assigns Congress the power over funding the federal government, so Trump would likely face legal challenges if he tried to bypass Congress on financing the wall. As a result, around 800,000 public workers have been unpaid, with about a quarter of the federal government closed for two weeks.
The House and Senate will reconvene briefly on Wednesday to mark the last day of the Republican-controlled 2017-2018 Congress, with no signs of a workable plan to end the shutdown, which is now in its second week. In fact, no construction of the border wall that he's demanded funding for has been started, much less completed.
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"We did a lot of wall in San Diego", Trump said at a White House news conference. Asked if declaring a national emergency was a threat hanging over Democrats, Trump said, "I'd never threaten anybody, but I am allowed to do that, yes".
Moreover, by abusing this authority, President Trump would be saying that he does not actually believe all the money he requests for our country's defense is needed for legitimate national security purposes. But we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly.
Trump is set to meet top Democratic lawmakers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a bid to break the long impasse.
House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat, asked the Internal Revenue Service in a letter on Friday to explain the possible effects of the shutdown on the upcoming tax filing season for millions of Americans.