Can POTUS declare an emergency to build The Wall?

15 February, 2019, 08:28 | Author: Jerome Frank
  • Lawmakers Reach Shutdown Deal, But Will Trump Sign It?

"So for all of my colleagues, the President will sign the bill, we will be voting on it shortly".

Funding for those agencies is due to expire on Friday, which would trigger another partial federal shutdown on Saturday if Congress and Trump do not act quickly.

Conceding defeat in his earlier demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall money, Trump agreed to sign a government-funding bill that lacks money for his wall, but prevents another damaging government shutdown.

It includes almost $1.4 billion for the southern border wall, significantly less than Trump's requested $5.7 billion. The agreement includes controversial funding for the Homeland Security Department, which oversees the border with Mexico, and whose budget triggered a five-week shutdown that ended last month.

It took a record 35-day government shutdown and a compromise bill that delivers billions less than he had demanded for a border wall.

Building the border wall was one of Trump's key election promises but he has so far been unsuccessful in getting the necessary funding. Asked by reporters if she would file a legal challenge to an emergency declaration, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "I may, that's an option".

The Senate passed the legislation 83-16, with both parties solidly on board.

Democrats immediately sought to discredit Trump calling for a national emergency by suggesting that there is no "emergency" on the border, despite the hundreds of thousands of people who are apprehended every year illegally trying to enter the US on the southern border.

The top Democrat in Congress immediately denounced the president's move.

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His decision was announced by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor on Thursday (Feb 14) and confirmed by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a separate statement. "It's a humanitarian challenge to us", Ms Pelosi said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a "gross abuse of power of the presidency" on Thursday, and Pelosi denounced it as "another demonstration of a naked contempt for the rule of law" by Trump. As NPR reported recently, the National Emergencies Act also gives Congress the power to nullify presidential emergency declarations.

"Fixing our broken immigration system is the true, long-term solution to border protection, economic security and a humane, compassionate response to people seeking safety and a better life for themselves and their families in America", he said. They also expressed fear that the move would be challenged in court and could be held up until the end of Trump's term.

Many subsequent emergency declarations suspended assets, trade or other transactions with nations ranging from Libya to Panama, though most have lapsed after regime changes in those countries, according to the center.

"'It's extremely rare for a president to declare a national emergency in a bid to fund domestic construction projects, particularly one that Congress has explicitly refused to fund, " Boyle told the AP.

"There is not a national emergency at our border", she said Thursday, appealing directly to Trump.

"You can use military construction funding under a national emergency, but it actually stipulates that that has to be for a military goal and it would be hard to justify this, I think, is a military objective", says military budget expert Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Legal experts have also questioned whether Trump could use the military to build the wall and whether there will be problems with the military, without congressional authorization, seizing private land along the border to build the wall.

Will the "emergency" get Trump his wall?

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