Published: Fri, February 15, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Can POTUS declare an emergency to build The Wall?

Can POTUS declare an emergency to build The Wall?

Speaking on the Senate floor, Mr McConnell sought to reassure politicians unsure of the President's position before taking a vote on the plan, which falls short of providing the $5 billion in border wall funding Mr Trump had demanded.

"Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

Other conservative thought leaders put pressure on Trump, goading him into issuing a national emergency declaration as they attacked the budget deal for failing to fulfill the president's biggest promise to his base.

On CNN, former Republican congressman Charlie Dent said, "You have to say the president lost".

In turn, the White House spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday that the Trump administration is prepared to withstand a possible legal challenge.

Minutes after the White House's announcement on Trump's intentions, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the spending package and send it to the House of Representatives, where Pelosi said the chamber will vote on the bill later Thursday.

So can President Trump declare a national emergency to secure funding for his wall?

A source familiar with the situation said that the White House had identified 2.7 billion U.S dollars in funds previously provided by Congress that could be redirected to barrier funding as part of a national emergency. The White House had attempted earlier this week to bolster support among Trump's media allies.

Congress passed the bill - which does not meet Mr Trump's demands for wall funding - on Thursday.

The bipartisan legislation would provide more than $300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and eight other federal agencies.

FILE - Border wall prototypes stand in San Diego near the Mexico U.S. border, seen from Tijuana, Dec. 22, 2018.

The bill would provide nearly $1.4 billion for 55 miles of additional border fencing identical to that already in place, far less than the $5.7 billion Trump had demanded before the 35-day government shutdown that began in December. Here, Congress has refused to pay for Trump's border wall, and now it appears that Trump is trying to usurp the appropriations power. Funding is due to expire for those agencies on Friday. "Today's national emergency is border security".

As an example, the aides said there is funding for a medical facility at a USA base in Germany that has been partially built.

Now that it's looking likely that Trump will exercise that power to build his dream wall along the US border with Mexico, you may be wondering what, if anything, Congress can do to stop him.

On Feb. 11, Trump went to El Paso, Texas, to make the case again that walls work in stopping crime. Pelosi said there was no crisis at the border with Mexico that requires a national emergency order.

"Gun violence is an emergency". French said it's a "stretch" to think that the military is needed at the border. "We are the appropriators, not the president".

That led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, which was the longest in US history. He was widely blamed for the shutdown and agreed to end it without getting the wall money.

The legislation would also fund the Justice Department, Commerce Department, State Department, Department of Agriculture, Internal Revenue Service and others, covering roughly 800,000 federal workers.

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