Trump vows emergency declaration over wall, agrees to shutdown-averting bill
AIWA! NEWS INTERNATIONAL|In a clear and spectacular fashion Trump failed to honorably accept defeat on the battle of ideas with Democrats lawmakers regarding funding for the southern border wall; protecting Americans from a ‘mythical’ enemy – Mexican asylum seekers, president Trump declared a national emergency on the Southern Border soon after signing the congressional government funding bill.
The president vowed on Thursday to declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his U.S.-Mexico border wall without congressional approval, a step likely to plunge him into a battle with Congress over constitutional powers.
Conceding defeat in his earlier demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall money, Trump agreed to sign a government-funding bill that lacks money for his wall, but prevents another damaging government shutdown.
The bill, passed overwhelmingly by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday, contains money for fencing and other forms of border security. But it ignores the wall, which Trump in his 2016 campaign promised Mexico would pay for, arguing it is needed to check illegal immigration and drugs.
The bill was expected to go to the White House on Friday for the president’s signature before he flies to his private Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida for a holiday weekend break.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action – including a national emergency,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
The top Democrat in Congress denounced the president’s move. Asked by reporters if she would file a legal challenge to an emergency declaration, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “I may, that’s an option.”
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer accused Trump of a “gross abuse of the power of the presidency.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would support Trump on the emergency. Earlier this month, McConnell had cautioned Trump that declaring an emergency could divide Senate Republicans, the Washington Post reported.
An emergency declaration could infringe on Congress’ authority to make major decisions about taxpayer funds, a fundamental check and balance spelled out in the Constitution.
A source said lawyers from the White House and other agencies had vetted the figures and believed they would withstand a legal challenge.
It also includes $1.37 billion in new money to help build 55 miles (88.5 km) of new physical border barriers. That is the same level of funding Congress appropriated for border security measures last year, including barriers, but not concrete walls.
Funding for those agencies was due to expire on Friday, which would trigger another partial federal shutdown on Saturday morning if Trump unexpectedly refuses to sign the bill.
(Additional reporting David Morgan, Susan Cornwell and Roberta Rampton; Writing by Kevin Drawbaugh and James Oliphant; Editing by Will Dunham and Peter Cooney)