President Donald Trump announced that he will sign an emergency declaration that will allow him to be redirect funds toward his proposed border wall despite numerous warnings for legal challenges.
“Sadly we’ll be sued, sadly it’ll go through a process. And happily, we’ll win, I think,” he said.
“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this [national emergency]. But I would rather do it much faster,” he told reporters outside of the White House.
The Washington Post reports that Trump is seeking about $6.5 billion more in funding than the $1.3 billion Congress approved for 55 miles of new fencing along the border in Texas. Trump previously demanded $5.7 billion toward the wall and shut down the government for five weeks in an unsuccessful attempt to get it.
Pelosi warns move will allow Dems to use same power to bypass Congress:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Trump’s declaration Thursday on the one-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting in Florida.
"Let's talk about today: The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America," Pelosi said. "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," Pelosi said. "So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans."
The declaration is expected to face numerous strong legal challenges.
Republicans not on board with Trump’s plan:
Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor Thursday that he will support Trump’s emergency declaration, The Washington Post reported that he only agreed to do so in exchange for Trump signing the deal to avoid another government shutdown.
Other prominent Republicans publicly spoke out against the emergency declaration.
“It’s a mistake on the president’s part,” Maine Sen. Susan Collins told Politico. “I also believe that it will be challenged in court. It undermines the role of Congress and the appropriations process.”
“I wish he wouldn’t have done it,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told the outlet. “If [Trump] figures that Congress didn’t do enough and he’s got to do it, then I imagine we’ll find out whether he’s got the authority to do it by the courts.”
“In general, I’m not for running the government by emergency, nor spending money. The Constitution’s pretty clear: spending originates and is directed by Congress,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said.
Politico reported that “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said it was a ‘bad idea’ but needed to learn more. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said it was ‘unnecessary’ because Trump has other ways of getting money but said he needed further guidance. And Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) fretted that it was a ‘dramatic expansion’ of the emergency powers."