The clock is ticking on the three week of reprieve from the longest government shutdown in history, and it’s getting more and more likely that it will end with President Trump issuing an emergency order to build a border wall. In an interview last week, Trump implied that he’s strongly considering just giving up on negotiations with Congress over border wall funding altogether and instead declaring a national emergency at the border, as he’s threatened to do in the past. This would allow the wall to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, bypassing the need for funding from Congress.
But Trump should be careful if he’s thinking of using this strategy—a new CBS News poll suggests that the vast majority of Americans wouldn’t approve of this plan.
According to CBS, 66 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump declaring a national emergency to build the wall, while only 34 percent believe he should. However—underscoring the deep divide between Republicans and the rest of the country—73 percent of Republicans are in favor of Trump taking this extreme route, and using the Army Corps to build the wall without Congressional approval.
The rest of the poll indicates similar results—that most Americans are not in favor of extreme measures to build the wall.
Seventy-three percent of Americans want Mr. Trump to continue negotiating while keeping the government open, rather than demand wall funding if that forces a shutdown.
It seems that most Americans are more concerned about avoiding another shutdown than they are funding a wall, and this goes both ways, as 75 percent say that Democrats shouldn’t withhold funding for the government over the wall if it would lead to another shutdown. Even among Democrats, 65 percent want their party to keep negotiating rather than allow their refusal of funding to lead to another shutdown.
This entire situation is, of course, Trump’s creation. During the shutdown, Sen. Chuck Schumer offered Trump billions of dollars for the wall if he was willing to allow permanent protections for undocumented people in the country under DACA. The White House said no.
Now, Democrats have pivoted again, and are currently offering no money for a border wall. Trump and his party had their chance.