The ongoing national debate about border security has taken an epic turn, Friday. President Trump has announced that he is declaring a national emergency to ensure he gets the funding needed to build the border wall after both the Senate and Congress failed to fully fun the President’s efforts at physical border security along our southern border.
Trump had originally asked for $5 billion for the wall, but has now upped that to $8 billion. The news means that the government has avoided another shutdown.
In his speech Friday morning, the president outlined his plan and once again explained his justification.
“I’m going to be signing a national emergency, and it’s been signed many times before. It’s been signed by other presidents from 1977 or so it gave the presidents the power,” Trump said. “There’s rarely been a problem. They sign it, nobody cares. I guess they weren’t very exciting.”
The deceleration comes as Trump vows to continue his fight against “an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”
“We don’t control our own border,” Trump said. “We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we’re going to do it – one way or the other we have to do it.”.
Opposition to this is, of course, brewing. Even before Trump’s announcement, Democrats had called him out on the idea of a national emergency.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the declaration an “end-run around the will of the people.”
“We will review our options, we’ll be prepared to respond appropriately to it,” Pelosi added.
“I know the Republicans have some unease about it, no matter what they say. Because if the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people,” she said.
“You want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Pelosi said. She is talking about the one year anniversary of the Parkland shooting.
“That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. [A] Democratic president can declare emergencies as well,” she concluded.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York was also vocal in his opposition. “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 the wall.”
“It would be another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law and congressional authority. Congress just debated this very issue. There was not support for the president’s position on this issue.”
“For the president to declare an emergency now would be an unprecedented subversion of Congress’s constitutional prerogative,” he said.
The declaration of a national emergency allows for money allocated for national defense to be used domestically. The money has to be used for national defense, so the language will reflect those priorities. The exact wording will be out soon.