Speed Reads

the wall

After failed Senate votes, Trump is reportedly reconsidering invoking emergency powers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have started negotiating an end to the 35-day-old government shutdown, after two rival bills failed in the Senate on Thursday, the Democratic version getting more votes. Now that the Senate has shot down President Trump's compromise offer, "White House officials aren't sure of their next move," Politico reports. "But they do know one thing: They're losing, and they want to cut a deal."

Trump is reportedly eager to strike a deal, but he's been known to change his mind. "I have other alternatives if I have to and I'll use those alternatives if I have to," he told reporters on Thursday. The White House is preparing a national emergency proclamation for Trump to sign, with the goal of allowing him to build his border wall with $7 billion in funds the White House believes it can claim from Pentagon, Homeland Security, and Treasury funds, CNN reports.

According to the draft proclamation, which was updated as recently as last week, the "national emergency" is a "massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day," CNN says, and the plan acknowledges that the White House would face lawsuits from landowners who don't want their property seized, gives permission to skip environmental reviews, and give waivers to skirt contracting laws. "Trump's next move remained a mystery to many West Wing aides," Politico reports, but aides and GOP lawmakers say "he has all but dropped his past threats to declare a national emergency," even if "the idea is not dead."