Donald Trump has vowed to “protect” his declaration of a national emergency to get funding for his border wall. Congress recently approved an amount that was considerably lower than Trump’s requested $5.7 billion to fund tighter security along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump, however, is determined to build a physical wall and to secure as much as $8 billion to fund its construction. In order to do so, he has declared a state of national emergency with the goal of securing military funds for his wall.
House Democrats are calling the declaration unlawful. According to White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, however, if Congress passes a resolution of disapproval to overturn Trump’s national emergency declaration, Trump will veto their decision.
“He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed,” said Miller.
During his Rose Garden speech, Trump presented the declaration of a national emergency as a routine action, framing it as nothing out of the ordinary when a president needed to reroute funding for a project.
Though it’s true that other presidents have declared states of national emergency, the ability to do so by the executive branch is to be used carefully, seen as a last resort, and only to be declared in times of true crisis, such as with a terrorist attack or natural disaster. An example would be when the U.S. became vulnerable in 2009 to the fast-moving H1N1 virus and healthcare resources were overwhelmed. Most presidential declarations of a national emergency have been uncontroversial, until now.
“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,” Trump told reporters gathered in the White House Rose Garden on Friday, shortly before he signed a proclamation declaring the emergency. “But I’d rather do it much faster.”
Trump’s open admission that he “didn’t need to do this” casts legal scrutiny on his declaration, as many are concerned that Trump has overstepped his authority, and will continue to do so by vetoing a resolution of disapproval by Congress.
“This is authority given to the president in law already,” said acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, in all seriousness. “It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money.”
Donald Trump didn’t get what he wanted when Congress voted against his request to fully fund a border wall. Despite Mulvaney’s comments, it seems all too true that Donald Trump does indeed see a declaration of a national emergency as his magic wand that will allow him to “take a bunch of money.”
Trump Goes Off Script While Declaring National Emergency for Border Wall | NowThis News [2019-02-15]
The politics of Trump’s national emergency | Fox News [2019-02-15]