Scalise: Trump wants Congress to solve shutdown problem

Scalise: Trump wants Congress to solve shutdown problem
© Greg Nash

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Sunday said Republicans "don’t want" President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE to be forced to declare a national emergency over the border wall, adding that the president would prefer that Congress "solve this problem."

"The president’s been very clear, Congress needs to solve this. The only people that have been unwilling to put any kind of offer on the table have been Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win Congress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNational emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall MORE. The president’s put multiple offers on the table," Scalise said, referring to the Speaker and Senate minority leader, respectively, during an interview on ABC's "This Week."

"We don’t want it to come down to a national emergency declaration," he said.

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Scalise added, however, that Trump has the "authority" to declare an emergency over what Trump has deemed a crisis at the southern border.

"Clearly the president’s got authority under law but he’s said he doesn’t want it to come to that. He wants Congress to solve this problem. Congress needs to solve this problem," Scalise added.

The partial government shutdown, now in its fourth week, was prompted because of Trump's refusal to sign a bill to fund the government that didn't include at least $5 billion for a wall along the southern border.

With Democrats vowing not to approve any funding for a wall, Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to build the wall — something Democrats have said would spark an immediate legal challenge.

Trump said last week that he would rather see Congress approve funding for a wall. But he also said last week that it would be "surprising" if he doesn't declare a national emergency.