Trump to declare national emergency to secure border wall funds

15 February, 2019, 08:25 | Author: Cynthia Curry
  • Lawmakers Reach Shutdown Deal, But Will Trump Sign It?

On Twitter, Trump said Thursday afternoon that he was "reviewing the funding bill with my team", but gave no indication of which way he was leaning on methods to fund the wall. It now has to be signed by Mr Trump to become law.

President Trump is under pressure to sign the border security deal as the possibility of another potential government shutdown looms.

"President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency - to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers reacted to McConnell's announcement with alarm. Why don't you declare that emergency, Mr President? That would have infused fresh chaos into a fight both parties are desperate to leave behind, a thought that drove some lawmakers to ask heavenly help.

"For all of my colleagues", McConnell said on the Senate floor, "the president will sign the bill".

Congressional aides said House Democrats were expected to file a lawsuit when Trump declares a national emergency in order to protect the House's constitutional powers to decide how USA taxpayers' money is appropriated.

Mr McConnell urged senators to approve it as "a compromise that no side will view as a ideal deal".

"I know the Republicans have some unease about it, no matter what they say because the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency - an illusion that he wants to convey", Pelosi said.

A congressional aide says the president could dip into $21 billion in unused military construction funds for building a wall. "I appreciate all the work the Republicans have done, because they're really going against a radical left".

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GOP critics included ME senator Susan Collins, who said emergency declarations are for "major natural disasters or catastrophic events" and said its use would be of "dubious constitutionality".

She said Democrats were prepared to respond appropriately to a declaration of national emergency. Other options would be taking money from funds for disaster relief or counter-drug operations.

But she said if Mr Trump invokes an emergency declaration it should be met with "great unease and dismay" as an overreach of executive authority.

The Defense Department declined to provide details on available money.

Even if the president has the authority to move money around, the congressional aides said a key question will be if Trump can prove the funds are being spent in support of the military.

Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota voted for it, as did Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, who is expected to join the field soon. The legislation also includes more funding for some kind of barrier at the border.

Initially, Mr Trump was distressed when he watched Sean Hannity and other Fox News hosts deride the plan, including as he watched recorded versions of prime-time programming during a late-night flight home on Monday from Texas, where he'd held a campaign rally.

It would reduce US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds from about 50,000 to 40,000.

The final vote was 300-128, with 213 Democrats voting in its favor and only 87 Republicans doing the same.

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