Schiff: Trump's threat to declare national emergency a 'non-starter'

Top House Democrat Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Trump: Jews who vote Democrat show 'lack of knowledge or great disloyalty' Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE "doesn't have the power" to declare a national emergency over the border.

"So that's a non-starter," the incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman told CNN's "State of the Union."

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Trump since Friday has been threatening to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern U.S. border.

"I may decide a national emergency depending on what happens over the next few days," Trump told reporters on Sunday.

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks MORE (D-Ill.) on Sunday also warned of a legal challenge if Trump bypasses Congress and declares a national emergency to have a wall built.

“I can just tell you, I don’t know what he’s basing this on, but he’s faced so many lawsuits when he ignores the law and ignores tradition and precedent and just goes forward without any concern,” Durbin said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“He’ll face a challenge, I’m sure, if he oversteps what the law requires when it comes to his responsibility as commander in chief,” Durbin added.

Sunday is the 16th day of the ongoing partial government shutdown, which resulted from a standoff between Trump's request for $5.7 billion to fund border security, including a wall or border barrier, and Democrats' refusal to fund a border wall.

"We have to build the wall or we have to build the barrier," Trump said Sunday. "The barrier or the wall can be of steel instead of concrete if that works better."

— Michael Burke contributed to this report, which was updated at 10:53 a.m.