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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.

For pro-Trump conservatives and those on the fringe anti-establishment right, however, the announcement represents a major victory.

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

David Gilmour

David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.