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 TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' 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 PelosiTimeline: The Trump whistleblower complaint DC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Ukraine could badly damage both Donald Trump and the Democrats MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over 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.