President Trump hinted today at using emergency powers to begin construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, and suggested that an announcement to that effect may be part of his State of the Union speech next Tuesday.

“I don’t want to say it, but you’ll hear the State of the Union, and then you’ll see what happens right after the State of the Union,” President Trump said Friday.

He indicated there’s a good chance he will declare a national emergency if Congress does not include his requested $5.7 billion of border wall funding in a spending bill to fully fund the government for the remainder of the 2019 fiscal year. As of right now, portions of the government including the Department of Homeland Security are only funded until Feb. 15 under an agreement on Jan. 25 to end the 35-day partial shutdown that began Dec. 22.

“We’re going to make a big step in the next week or so, prior to my doing anything, but actually having a national emergency does help the process,” Trump added.

Declaring a national emergency in order to build a border wall would almost certainly be met with legal challenges.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.