The White House challenged opposition Democrats on Sunday to prove they want tough security on the southern border with Mexico now that the longest-ever partial government shutdown has ended and the clock is ticking on a three-week window for negotiations. The president and Congress now have until February 15 to reach an agreement.
Trump "found out that Pelosi is no pushover", said former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who once headed the House GOP campaign organization.
Declaring an emergency could allow Trump to circumvent Congress and repurpose funds Congress has appropriated for other purposes in order to build a wall.
Federal workers were asked to go back to work after US President Donald Trump signed a bill that temporarily reopened the federal government for three weeks. "The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the Border & through dialogue".
With the installation of anti-Trump hardliner Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House - third in line to the USA presidency - a newly-empowered Democratic opposition has sent worrying signals to the GOP, particularly given the unpredictable nature of the current administration, according to Ft.com.
The partial government shutdown - at 35 days the longest in US history - led to some 800,000 federal workers going unpaid, including 380,000 furloughed workers. To secure that job, the 78-year-old House veteran had to overcome critics' arguments that she had been party leader for too long and wasn't Democrats' best bet to appeal to diverse, social media savvy audiences.
Within the White House, there was broad recognition among Trump's aides that the shutdown pressure was growing and the standoff could not stretch on indefinitely. "I think she deserves it", he said then.
The deal he reached with congressional leaders contains no new money for the wall, but ends the longest shutdown in United States history.
Let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier.
At his White House announcement, Trump sought to thank the federal workers who suffered as collateral damage in the political battle, saying they showed "extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship".
Trump may be trying to say it's just a different step in the negotiations, but his closest allies seem to recognize that the president has been weakened by a shutdown that most Americans blame on him.
"At the end of the day, the president's commitment is to defend the nation and he'll do it either with or without Congress", Mulvaney continued.
He added that his border wall is needed "for national security" but admitted it won't be easy negotiating with Democratic leaders. Mike Cernovich got Trump with a mean, if extremely mixed, metaphor, calling him the "commander-in-soy" and Speaker Pelosi an "alpha".
"They are willing to put partisanship aside, I think, and put the security of the American people first", Trump said.
The Tennessee Republican, who sits on the appropriations committee, said on Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures" that the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee should work toward a compromise, while checking with the White House to make sure Trump would sign the final deal.