President Trump Declares a National Emergency Concerning Southern Border

President Trump.

President Donald J. Trump (Official White House Photo)

On Friday morning President Trump arrived at the White House’s Rose Garden. Although he brought up various topics during his speech, one seems to be stuck in everyone’s head. That is, Trump declaring a national emergency to get funding for the border wall. [1]

Signing a Bill

On Friday President Trump signed the $1.38 billion omnibus bill which gave him barely a fraction of the amount needed for the border wall while keeping the government open.

Although the funding in the bill fell way short of the amount needed for Trump’s border wall, the passing of the bill means that Trump’s biggest campaign promise will soon be started.

A National Emergency

On February 15th President Trump had had enough of the small payments offered to him by Congress.

At the White House Rose Garden Trump stated that he was declaring a national emergency. “So I’m going to be signing a national emergency. And it’s been signed many times before,” said Trump.  “It’s been signed by other Presidents from 1977 or so. It gave the Presidents the power.” [2]

Is That Legal?

Not everyone believes that a national emergency is the way to get funding for the border wall. In fact, many are questioning whether Trump can get funding by declaring a national emergency. The House Judiciary Committee announced Friday evening that it was starting an investigation on Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency.

House Speaker Pelosi also released a statement which was critical of the president’s actions “The President’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation.” [3]

Pelosi continued “The President’s actions violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution. The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

White House officials say that the national emergency declaration will free up about $8 billion for the border wall. None of that money will be taken from disaster funds.

Promises

Although building a border wall wasn’t the only campaign promise Trump had made, it is one of his most well known. After signing the omnibus bill on Valentines Day, Trump had agreed to not shutting down the government until October, which is cutting it close to the end of his term.

“I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question about the emergency declaration. “I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.”


Notes:

  1. ^Presidential Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States | The White House.” White House, 18 Feb. 2019, www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-declaring-national-emergency-concerning-southern-border-united-states. (go back↩)
  2. ^Remarks by President Trump on the National Security and Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border | The White House.” White House, 18 Feb. 2019, www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-national-security-humanitarian-crisis-southern-border. (go back↩)
  3. ^As Trump Declares National Emergency To Fund Border Wall, Democrats Promise A Fight.” NPR.org, 15 Feb. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/02/15/695012728/trump-expected-to-declare-national-emergency-to-help-fund-southern-border-wall. (go back↩)

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