WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday he would not declare a national emergency for now as a way of securing funds for a border wall and ending a partial government shutdown, adding that he would rather see the U.S. Congress act.
“We want Congress to do its job,” Trump said during a White House event on border security, adding that Democratic lawmakers “should come back and vote.”
“What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency,” the Republican president said.
Parts of the U.S. government shut down on Dec. 22 after funding expired as Trump and congressional Democrats quarreled over the his demand for money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump repeated his view that he had the right to declare a national emergency to divert funds appropriated for other purposes but said, “I’m not going to do it so fast.”
He also reiterated that he was open to considering a major immigration reform but that he would only do so after he obtained funding for the wall.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Tim Ahmann