(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump announced this afternoon that he had made a deal with leaders in Congress to sign a bill to fund the government until February 15 but warned that if Congress had not by that time agreed “to build a powerful wall or steel barrier” the government would either shutdown again or he would invoke a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval.
“So let me be really clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” Trump said at the end of an address outside the White House.
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shutdown on February 15, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” Trump said.
“We will have great security,” he said.
At the outset of his speech, Trump said he had made a deal with unnamed individuals in Congress.
“I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and reopen the federal government,” Trump said.
Then he immediately alluded to the possibility of using unilateral power to deal with the border as an emergency.
“As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative but I didn’t want to use it at this time,’ Trump said. “Hopefully, it will be unnecessary.”
Trump said he had asked Senate Majority Leader McConnell to vote immediately on legislation to fund the government and that he would soon sign it.
“In a short while I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks until February 15,” Trump said. “I will make sure that all employees receive their back pay very quickly, or as soon as possible.
“It will happen fast,” Trump said. “I am asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put this proposal on the floor immediately.
“After 36 days of spirited debated and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans, that they are willing to put partisanship aside—I think—and put the security of the American people first,” he said.
“I do believe they are going to do that,” Trump said.
“They have said they are for complete border security and they have finally and fully acknowledged that having barriers, fencing, or walls, or whatever you want to call it, will be an important part of the solution,” he said.
Trump said that as part of the deal a bipartisan congressional conference committee would working with law enforcement and homeland security experts on a border security plan.
“A bipartisan conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers and leaders will immediately begin reviewing the requests of our homeland security experts—and experts they are—and also law enforcement professionals who have worked with us so closely,” he said.
“Based on operational guidance from the experts in the field, they will put together a homeland security package for me to shortly sign into law,” Trump said.
“Over the next 21 days, I expect that both Democrats and Republicans will operate in good faith,” he said. “This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of our whole beautiful wonderful nation.”