In an interview with NBC News host Chuck Todd broadcast Sunday, President Donald Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that another government shutdown "absolutely cannot" be ruled out, Newsweek reports.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, Trump signaled on Sunday that he would be willing to declare a national emergency in an effort to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The president's signal came amid intense -- but unproductive -- talks between the two parties.
The talks collapsed because the Democrats are insisting on limiting the number of immigrants who can be detained by ICE, while Republicans remain unwilling to fulfill the request. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have openly stated that there has been no progress.
"I'm not confident we're going to get there," lead Republican negotiator Richard C. Shelby said.
The ongoing negotiations over border security between the two parties were the main topic of Chuck Todd and Mick Mulvaney's conversation. The talks are starting to resemble another stalemate, as no compromise has been reached yet.
"Whether or not [Trump] gets $1.6 billion from Congress, whether or not he gets $2.5 billion or $5.7 billion, he's going to do whatever he legally can to secure that border," Mulvaney said, adding that a shutdown at the end of the week "absolutely cannot" be ruled out.
The president's acting chief of staff explained that the administration is "still participating" in negotiations, but appeared less pessimistic about the outcome than lawmakers. He refused to explicitly answer questions about the progress that has been made, but asserted that the administration has decided to listen instead of taking the lead.
"We're still listening, we're still talking, but we're not leading the negotiations," Mulvaney said.Unless an agreement is reached, President Trump will likely force another shutdown, according to his chief of staff, but this does not come as a surprise given that the government has been reopened only temporarily. Trump has threatened -- and continues to -- a national emergency unless Congress approves funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The previous government shutdown was the longest and most expensive in U.S. history and left some 800,000 federal workers without pay. As previously noted by the Inquisitr, it remains to be seen whether Trump's threats of national emergency will materialize, since both lawmakers and legal experts remain unsure about the issue.
Some of the president's Republican colleagues openly oppose the idea, arguing that it could set a dangerous precedent, and others support it. Some legal experts claim that declaring national emergency would inevitably provoke a legal battle, that would likely not end well for the president's border project, while others believe that Trump has no obstacles in his way.