President Trump declares a national emergency to obtain funding for border wall with Mexico

See also: WikiTribune: A history of ‘National Emergencies’ in the US

Facing the gathered press in the White House Rose Garden, US President Donald Trump has confirmed he will declare a ‘National Emergency‘ to obtain funding for the ‘border wall’ with Mexico.

“We’re going to be signing today and registering national emergency and it’s a great thing to do because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people, and it’s unacceptable,” he said during the press event.

The funding is expected to be diverted from other federal programs, including military construction efforts and efforts to fight the drug trade, as well as through the $1.375 billion approved by Congress for border security. However, the $US 8 billion expected to be diverted is short of the $US 23 billion believed to be needed for the wall. 

The declaration has been met with condemnation by Democrats, and with some unease by members of the Republican party. It is expected that there will be a lawsuit to stop the declaration, either from Congress or with Congress supporting a suit by a third party. A suit has already been filed on behalf of three Texan landowners who are claiming that the declaration is in violation of the US constitution and their land owning rights. New York and California are also reportedly planning to file suits.

“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a joint statement regarding the planned use of ‘National Emergency’ powers. “This is not an emergency, and the president’s fearmongering doesn’t make it one…..The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities.”

The emergency declaration can also be terminated if both the Republican controlled Senate and Democratic controlled Congress vote for it, and the move is not vetoed by the President.

The announcement comes a day after Congress approved a government spending bill that did not include Mr. Trump’s requested $US 5.7 billion in funding for a border wall, which has since been approved by the President. This agreement will prevent another government shutdown following the record 35 day long shutdown over the President’s refusal to sign a spending bill without funding for the ‘border wall,’ a key promise in his 2016 Presidential campaign.

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