Trump says may declare national emergency in next few days over border wall

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By Pascale Davies  with REUTERS
Trump says may declare national emergency in next few days over border wall
Copyright  REUTERS/Carlos Barria

US President Donald Trump has said he may declare a national emergency in the next few days so he can build a wall on the Mexican border. 

Trump said that would depend on what happens in the days to come in the dispute with the House, which has seen the US government partially shut down for the last 15 days. 

The deadlock has seen US President Donald Trump withhold signing a bill to fully fund the government until he gets money to build a wall on the Mexican border.

The President also said on Sunday, the wall can be made of steel instead of concrete. 

Trump has demanded $5.6 billion (5 billion euros) for the wall, which he says is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into the US.

Talks between the Trump administration and leading Democrats failed to break an impasse after the sides met on Saturday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would pass new legislation next week to try and reopen the federal government, a quarter of it has been closed. 

That would be via piecemeal appropriation bills, to reopen certain agencies, such as the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

Pelosi said: “This action is necessary so that the American people can receive their tax refunds on schedule.”

Around 800,000 federal workers have not been paid since 22 December. The Washington Post reported that millions of low-income Americans will face cuts to food benefits.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that 50 percent of the public blame Trump for the shutdown, 7 percent say Republican lawmakers are culpable, while 32 percent find the Democrats are to blame.

The two sides agreed to meet again on Sunday.