Calling it "a great thing to do," President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to help finance a long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a highly unusual move from an unconventional president.
In circuitous remarks in the Rose Garden, Trump said he was declaring an emergency because of "an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs."
The move came a day after Congress approved a spending bill giving Trump around $1.3 billion in border security funding, far short of the $5.7 billion he had called for. Trump signed the bill Friday afternoon, averting another government shutdown until at least October. Invoking emergency powers frees up additional funding.
Legal challenges and pushback even from some within his own party await Trump in the next phase of the ongoing national political battle over border security and immigration policy — cementing the issues at the forefront of his bid for a second term.
[Emphasis added by me]
"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."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who had previously cautioned Trump against declaring a national emergency, said Thursday he was on board with the president's move. However, others within the GOP have pushed back.
Centrist Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is up for re-election in 2020, called Trump's planned move a "mistake" in a statement Thursday. Collins also argued that the National Emergencies Act was only "intended to apply to major natural disasters or catastrophic events, such as the attacks on our country."
"Such a declaration would undermine the role of Congress and the appropriations process; it's just not good policy. It also sets a bad precedent for future presidents — both Democratic and Republican — who might seek to use this same maneuver to circumvent Congress to advance their policy goals. It is also of dubious constitutionality, and it will almost certainly be challenged in the courts," Collins said.
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, whose districts covers about 800 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, said Friday on The View that the declaration was "unnecessary" and expressed concerns about the land seizures that would have to take place in order to build the wall.
"What we should be talking about is the strategy on how to defend our border, not one specific tool, which is the wall," Hurd said.
https://www.npr.org/2019/02/15/69501272 … order-wall
Do you support this declaration of emergency as a necessity to mitigate a crisis at the border? Or, do you believe there is no emergency?
Either way, is Trump trying to circumvent the decisions of Congress, who are granted the power of the purse by the Constitution?
Yes, he is trying to circumvent both Congress and the Constitution (again).
Quite a few sources are predicting a blizzard of lawsuits to stop him because what he is doing violates the Constitution.
Hi promisem, although I agree this decision is wrong, and I agree with your description of his actions, I am not optimistic this action can be stopped.
After listening to a legal/political pundit describe the basics of the national emergency powers given to the president in that 1976(?) act, I don't think the courts will be able to find grounds to invalidate his declaration.
Do you know who that was? I would be interested in watching/reading their comments on this issue. I haven't watched much news about this, but haven't yet seen an "expert" who thought Trump would get away with this.
No, I don't PrettyPanther, but the gist of it was that the act, (1976?), that gave our presidents this power to declare national emergencies did not define what constituted a national emergency. So, in effect, they authorized this power without putting any parameters on it. A president can declare a national emergency based on his determination alone.
Without parameters defining limits of the power, the courts will have a hard time finding against a president's actions.
It looks like Pres. Trump will win a court challenge - short of a supermajority legislative vote.
This seems to indicate Congress has no power over the purse strings, GA. Well, we'll have to wait until a Democrat gets into office and tries the same with Climate Change and Health Care. Then we'll hear some bitching from the right...
GA, go back and watch Trump's declaration of a national emergency in which he actually states that "I didn't have to do this, but...." That refutes his own national emergency, and is enough for him to lose a court challenge. Remember the "reasonable doubt" argument.
Hi MizBejabbers. If common sense ruled the day I would agree with you, but I think this challenge, (in the court's mind), will be about the President's authority to make such a declaration. If so, I think he is on solid ground.
Most of the opposition I have read about is saying he exceeded his authority. On that point, I think they will lose. Now, if they can bring a suit that addresses the need for the declaration--that would be a different matter, and I think Pres. Trump would lose the challenge.
I had the impression from what I read that this declaration was different because it involves the appropriation of funds that Congress set aside for other purposes.
I have scanned through several dozen past declarations without finding anything like it, although I may have missed something.
Even with the act you cite for Pretty Panther, I wonder if the courts will have to choose between it and what the Constitution says about Congressional appropriations.
Trump see's himself as a king with no powers able to stop his wishes. His fans want the same..
It appears so. I am waiting to hear one Trumpeter speak out against this obvious attempt to circumvent Congress.
I remember many screaming against other declarations of national emergency. It was an abuse of power, the sitting president thought he was a king. Those were democratic presidents. I don't remember anyone on the left at that time agreeing.
My point is, those who agree an emergency exists (on any of these actions) see reason and logic. Those who don't see power hungry presidents. You can't fault a person who feels we did need to allow for an orderly process for not condemning this.
I think I might like Sen. Susan Collins. Like her, I think this declaration was a mistake.
To answer your questions: No, I do not support this national emergency declaration, and although I do think cross-border illegal immigration is a problem, I do not think it meets what should be the threshold for designation as a national emergency.
I am a strident supporter of eminent domain powers as originally intended, but just as stridently an opponent of eminent domain as it is too frequently used - and as it will be used to accomplish this national emergency wall building'.
Don't worry, 16 random States with no particular agenda have banded together to put a stop to the whole thing.
The agenda is called the U.S. Constitution.
Frankly, I'm shocked the far right wants to violate the Constitution they allegedly love just to build a wall.
Where was all this concern when Obama violated the Constitution? Why was their such acceptance of his actions?
"Mini-DREAM Act. Congress has shamelessly failed to pass any sort of immigration reform, including for the most sympathetic victims of the current non-system, young people who were brought into the country illegally as children. Nonetheless, President Obama, contradicting his own previous statements claiming to lack authority, directed the Department of Homeland Security to issue work and residence permits to the so-called Dreamers. The executive branch undoubtedly has discretion regarding enforcement priorities, but granting de facto green cards goes beyond a decision to defer deportation in certain cases."
https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2 … 61c2737667
I'm simply pointing out why 16 states have a reason to file a lawsuit against Trump about the wall.
I'm also wondering why some conservatives aren't more upset about what appears to violate the appropriations clause of the Constitution as well as a major shift in power from Congress to the White House.
I can't imagine the Founding Fathers would be happy about it.
That said, the courts ruled against Obama when he overreached, and the courts have done the same with Trump.
If this goes to the Supreme Court and it rules that President Donald Trump has the right under the Constitution to declare a national emergency, as 53 other national emergencies have been declared....are you willing to admit that you and those 16 states are wrong?
I'm wrong about what? That 16 states are filing suit because they think Trump overreached?
Or that Trump "appears to violate the appropriations clause of the Constitution"?
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ … order-wall
I'm going to do a Promisem,
Do you agree or disagree that if the Supreme Court believes President Donald Trump's national emergency is constitutional that you and the 16 states were wrong about it being unconstitutional.
Just agree or disagree. (How did I do?)
I'll try again. Where did I say on this thread that I think the emergency declaration is unconstitutional?
In fact, I wasn't even talking about his declaration. I was a) simply explaining what I read about the states' motive for the lawsuit, and b) pointing out the appearance of a violation of the appropriations clause. Neither point is related to your question.
So obviously I don't have to agree or disagree with your question about me being wrong if it has nothing to do with what I said.
Last I heard he was going to use military money to stop an invasion. How in the world is that violating the appropriations clause? Just because Democrats want open borders does not make closing them unconstitutional!
Wilderness, do you really think Democrats want open borders when they just voted for billions in border security?
Do you really think what is happening at the border is an "invasion"?
Will Trump's wall close the border, as you imply?
And, why do you say these obviously overblown things? It is difficult to have a rational discussion when you do that.
Of course they have a reason - they want open borders and a nation full of illegal aliens! So will use the court system to delay closing that border as long as possible. Just as they used the court system to prevent Trump from closing travel from countries that do not vet travelers and are known havens for terrorists.
I can't imagine the founding fathers being happy about an unchallenged invasion either, particularly when the challenge is to let it happen rather than stop it.
Yep. The liberal courts ruled against Trump. And SCOTUS said "Forget it - there is nothing illegal here!".
I agree, I think they should end all welfare programs and the problem would solve itself. That and stop letting Democrats take money from drug lords.
If declaring a national emergency were something new, never done by a president before..,had no previous president used such power to implement policy while circumventing Congress.....I'd understand the outrage.
Do you think a national emergency is justified in this case?
I think we have a problem and Congress has proven itself incapable or unwilling to resolve the problem.
We have a right to orderly and legal immigration. If a border wall is needed to help secure it, then yes. I support this. Primarily because, I'll repeat, Congress is unwilling or incapable of acting decisively.
Congress did act and provided funds for border security, including some for a wall. Trump simply wants more than Congress appropriated and is unwilling to accept that the Constitution grants them the power of the purse.
I don't see how this can possibly be justified as an emergency, and Trump himself stated as much when he said "I didn't need to do this. I just want to get it done faster, that's all."
There are many different angles to approach the question. The problem I see is one side refuses, at every angle, to attempt to determine the scope of the problem. Whether it be how many are crossing illegally, how many are already here, the extent of the burden this has put on the American taxpayer, how has this affected the funds available to the impoverished legal citizen, how sustainable is a blind eye turned policy to our current social welfare initiatives, etc.
I watched an incredibly dismal video the other day on how impossible it is, through immigration, to make a dent in the worldwide problem of poverty. It made the case that allowing those with the desire for better conditions, more freedoms and better opportunities who had the wherewithal to abandon their current environments was detrimental to the long term goal of raising the world out of poverty. It allowed forward thinkers who could quite possibly make a difference for their less adventurous neighbors to leave countries they could have theoretically been a positive force for change in.
I believe he made a statement that allowing one million immigrants in a year would not help because sixty million are born into this depressed condition every year. That figure may, or may not, be accurate because I haven't researched the claim. But, the argument was also made that straining social welfare programs in first world nations to the point of bankrupting a nation was less affective (if our goal is to help) than putting those resources to better use by investing it into programs in the countries people are walking away from. It would be a better long term investment in humanity.
I realize that dictatorships and socialist regimes investment is not possible. But, I also believe we need to help those who we can, who arrive at our borders for asylum and sanctuary. The emphasis on 'those we can'. But we have a sovereign right to determine that number and a fiduciary responsibility to legal citizens to ensure the society we have built is sustainable.
I also understand the pressures on politicians, especially on the democratic side of the aisle, against the appearance of not being supportive of a free and open border. I think they know the dangers but it would be political suicide, in the current climate, to act against those dangers. Historical documents prove that many speaking vehemently against border security have, in the past, supported it. The hunt for votes changed their public stand.
It's a crappy thing to have to find the solution to. Poverty, crime, unsanitary life threatening conditions. People living with no hope of change. But the answer is not unmonitored immigration. Unless the question is how to ensure the opportunities they dream of will cease to exist.
But consider this Live to Learn, (and I haven't researched this - it is just a thought), out of all those previous national emergency declarations, are there ones that seem as blatantly intended to circumvent the will of the legislature?
I've looked through them, but I haven't studied the particular political leanings of Congress at the time, and why it was deemed necessary by those sitting presidents. So, I couldn't say.
That's what Chris Wallace asked Stephen Miller.
No link for you today. But you should check it out.
For those who have a hard time looking at Stephen Miller's dead eyes like I do....
"But the one question Miller could not answer came a little later in their interview. “National emergencies have been declared 59 times since 1976 when the law was passed,” Wallace said, referring to the National Emergencies Act. “Can you point to a single instance when the president asked Congress for money, Congress refused to give him that money and the president then invoked national emergency powers to get the money.”
As Miller dodged and obfuscated, Wallace kept on him. “Can you find one case?” he asked again.
“Chris, can you find one foreign threat in the world today, outside this country’s borders, that currently kills more Americans than the threats crossing our Southern border?” Miller asked him in return, apparently referring to either immigrants or drugs, though he intentionally left that distinction unclear.
“You know, the joy of this is I get to ask you questions,” Wallace responded. “And you don’t get to ask me.” When Miller answered his own question in the negative, Wallace added, “Then answer my question! Just yes or no, sir! "
Miller refused to answer, growing more and more agitated as he railed against the way U.S. money is spent on “some foreign adventure” overseas as opposed to securing the border at home. “If the president can’t defend this country, then he cannot fulfill his constitutional oath of office!” he screamed at Wallace.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news- … -emergency
No link needed Islandbites. It's okay with me that Chris Wallace borrowed my question. ;-)
This article talks about how this declaration compares to previous declarations and includes a complete list of all of them.
https://www.npr.org/2019/02/15/69520385 … -trump-has
Your link does emphasize the difference from past declarations but does nothing to discredit this declaration.
I respectfully disagree.
I see no declaration on that list where the President misappropriates funds authorized by Congress for other purposes.
I'm obviously not a legal scholar, but it seems pretty clear that Trump's act violates the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
What little I have read on the matter does not support that opinion promisem. I can't say your thought is wrong--only that I don't think that is pertinent to the court decision that is sure to follow. I don't think past declarations will enter into the decision.
My opinion is that Congress made a mistake in the composition of that 1976 national emergency act, and now we must suffer the consequences.
Most legal pundits I have listened to, (not claiming it is a settled issue, just that this is the prevailing opinion), say the ambiguity of the act leaves Pres. Trump's declaration on sound constitutional ground.
A group of 16 states filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block President Trump's move to declare a national emergency to get funding for his proposed southern border wall.
The states, 15 of which have Democratic governors, called the situation at the border a "manufactured crisis."
Hard to argue against that, for it was manufactured.
It was manufactured by repeatedly granting amnesty to anyone that could get here and thereby encouraging more of the same.
It was manufactured by so-called "sanctuary" cities and states that hide lawbreakers from law enforcement.
It was manufactured by decades of listless, ineffective border control by people that wanted even less than was being done.
It was manufactured by acceptance of a sub-class of people, and by greedy businesses willing to flout the law when lawmakers didn't care.
But it was not and is not being manufactured by the first president in years that has actually tried to end it rather than simply ignoring the laws of the country.
So you'll be okay if a future Democratic POTUS declares the same for gun control and National Health Care? It won't matter if you care at all if Trump gets away with this contrived crisis because a precedent will be set.
The congress controls the purse, not little Donnie.
Sure. All you have to do is provide proof that gun controls will save lives and I'll join the bandwagon.
On the other hand, if you could prove that illegal aliens in this country, and crossing the border, are NOT harming the country I'll join that bandwagon.
Until then I'll absolutely go with the idea that 20 million people feeding off American generosity is a crisis. And doubly so when our politicians refuse to take steps to end the fiasco.
There's already proof gun control saves lives as there's already proof Trump's statistics don't match the real ones. And National Health Care would definitely save lives, no?
"There's already proof gun control saves lives"
Then show it. Don't bother showing bodies without bullet holes; show living breathing people that statistically would have died without those controls. I have yet to see a single bit of evidence that any gun controls have reduced the number of homicides.
(Accidents and suicides, yes, but I'm not really concerned about either. Not to the point, anyway, that I'd consider reducing our freedom and rights to help.)
Haven't a clue what national health care has to do with anything.
Okay, Parkland didn't happen....
But you'd be okay if National Health Care would be considered a National emergency? Dang Dan, we're talking about setting a precedent, donchaknow.
Congress passed a bill that provided funding for border security including finding for a wall, just not the total amount Little Donnie wanted. If Donnie gets his way on this pretend emergency, what is to prevent future presidents from doing the same thing to satisfy their base? Congress won't fund Medicare for All? National emergency. Another deadly mass shooting at a school? National emergency.
See how that works?
As an aside, once again, I am shocked at what previously rational people will accept from this president.
You first paragraph are valid concerns.
Your last paragraph displays a complete lack of ability to think from another's point of view.
Maybe. One could also say that supporting Trump's emergency declaration displays a complete inability to foresee how setting this precedent could result in disastrous consequences for the balance of powers set forth in the Constitution.
Why did those "disastrous consequences" not happen for any of the other 50+ emergencies? What makes this one different (outside of being from Trump)? Did any of the other ones ruin the balance of powers? Why not? Why will this one do it?
Did any of the other ones involve a President seeking more funds than Congress authorized for his pet project? You tell me. I don't think so, but if you can prove me wrong I'm willing to listen.
"About three-quarters of the time, presidents use their emergency power to impose economic sanctions or limit trade with foreign parties. Then-President Jimmy Carter, for example, declared an emergency to limit business dealings with Iran. George H.W. Bush did the same with Iraq. And Barack Obama used emergency powers to limit transactions with Libya.
Other declarations have followed terrorist attacks or natural disasters. George W. Bush declared an emergency after the Sept. 11 attacks. And Obama used one to respond to the swine flu epidemic in 2009."
https://www.npr.org/2019/02/15/69520385 … -trump-has
This is (I think) the 59th presidential crisis. Every president since the concept was instituted has declared at least one. That's a precedent?
By taking money already approved by the congress for other projects? Which POTUS has done this?
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