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Conservatives split on Trump’s national emergency to fund border wall
The controversial decision to call a national emergency will likely be met with swift legal challenges and already has raised criticism on both sides of the political aisle.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that President Donald Trump was prepared to sign the government spending bill agreed to by Congress but would also declare a national emergency to secure additional funding for his border wall.
Trump demanded $5.7 billion to construct his border wall, which he had promised voters on his campaign trail in 2016, claiming Mexico would pay for it. However, he has been frustrated by Democrats’ refusing to approve funding.
Although the compromise spending bill already puts about $1.4 billion for the wall, the emergency declaration would allow the president to circumvent Congress and redirect funds from other parts of the government.
In the short term, the measure would end the long-running standoff and will avert what would have been a second partial shutdown in two months.
The controversial move will likely be met with swift legal challenges and already has raised criticism on both sides of the political aisle over what kind of precedent such a move would set for the future.
Trump shouldn't be declaring a national emergency. The best legal case he has is 10 USC 284, declaring parts of the border drug corridors. No need to set a garbage legal precedent that will undoubtedly be exploited by the Democrats in short order. https://t.co/z4n4vmzZ89
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 14, 2019
So Trump will sign a spending bill that gives us about 50 miles of "barrier" and then declare a national emergency to build the rest. The courts will immediately shoot that down and the next Democratic president is certain to abuse the precedent. Great.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) February 14, 2019
That aspiring autocrats can pre-schedule a "national emergency" is the actual national emergency
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) February 14, 2019
For pro-Trump conservatives and those on the fringe anti-establishment right, however, the announcement represents a major victory.
Ben Shapiro is a conventional conservative.
What he fails to realize is that we live in unconventional times. What is happening on our border is indeed a national emergency and @realDonaldTrump would be right to declare one.
A nation without borders is not a nation at all. https://t.co/QflnMgJ8IE
— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) January 9, 2019
Trump to sign spending bill to begin to build the wall and will ALSO declare a national emergency
Expect this to be tied up in the courts immediately and it will go to the Supreme Court
We have your back Mr President! Build it!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 14, 2019
Build the wall.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 14, 2019
BUILD. THE. WALL! 🇺🇸
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) February 14, 2019
Democrats’ refusal to negotiate has rendered Congress inept at doing its job to protect Americans. At this point POTUS is absolutely right to use constitutional executive action authority to build the wall and secure our border. This is a national emergency. I fully support him.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 14, 2019
When asked about potential legal challenges to a national emergency declaration, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the administration was “very prepared, but there shouldn’t be [legal challenges]. The president’s doing his job.”
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.