But if he follows through on a threat to declare a national emergency in order to build a border wall, experts say he's going to have to rely on facts and legal arguments - and the evidence is not on his side.
Tapping emergency powers to short-circuit a political fight would nearly certainly invite a legal challenge.
"Replacing more visible rights harms with - potentially - less visible ones is not a good answer", St. Vincent said.
Pompeo is traveling in the Middle East as the shutdown is set to enter its fourth week.
Nearly half of State Department employees in the United States and about one-quarter overseas have been furloughed during the shutdown. With the exception of certain local employees overseas, the rest are working without pay, like those tasked with supporting Pompeo's trip, which has thus far taken him to Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Bahrain, with additional stops to come.
"The positive, shall we say, nearly technological wall that can be built is what we should be doing", Pelosi said.
However, on Friday he said he would not declare an emergency for now, preferring Congress to act.
The Washington Post, which tracks and tallies "false or misleading" claims by the president, reported that as of 10 January 2019, Trump has said Mexico would pay for a border wall 212 times during the campaign and since taking office.
In place of an olive branch to the Democrats, Trump has offered insults and accusations, and on Wednesday stormed out of a meeting with congressional leaders that he called at the White House.
Trump delivered his first Oval Office address about his planned border wall in the middle of the shutdown (Picture: CARLOS BARRIA / POOL / AFP / Getty Images)What is the U.S. government shutdown about?
Trump reiterated that he's "waiting" for the Democrats to get back to Washington D.C.
But Trump himself has undermined that case, arguing that he'll declare a national emergency largely because Congress won't give him the funding to build the wall in the budget bill.
Peters favors "smart approaches" that might include radar and sensors, drones with cameras, high-tech ways of detecting tunnels, and physical barriers such as levees or fences where it makes sense. Even though voters are blaming Trump for the shutdown, a large majority of Americans are likely sympathetic to Trump when it comes to calls for increased border security.
The shutdown became the longest on record at midnight Friday (0500 GMT Saturday), when it overtook a 21-day stretch in 1995-1996 under president Bill Clinton. Nine of 15 cabinet-level departments were not funded. The Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the government's largest agencies, are the most notable exceptions and continue to operate since they were funded through September 30.
Today, the shutdown will become the longest in USA history.
The House bill, which passed 240-179 with only a handful of Republicans supporting it, would restore funding for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, two of the agencies that have been without funding since Dec 22 amid the standoff over the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.
The House and Senate have voted to ensure that all federal employees will be paid retroactively after the partial government shutdown ends.