Trump declares emergency to fund border wall
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 2/15/19, 11:52 am
President Donald Trump announced Friday he is declaring a national emergency to fulfill his pledge to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He plans to use executive powers to bypass Congress, which approved far less money for his proposed wall than he had sought in a budget deal passed Thursday night that he is expected to sign Friday. At a news conference Friday in the White House Rose Garden, the president cited drug trafficking, violent crime, and sexual exploitation as reasons the United States needs better border security. He said he will redirect billions of dollars from federal military construction and drug enforcement for the effort.
Lawmakers voted Thursday to fund large swaths of the government and avoid another partial shutdown. The bill includes about $4.3 billion less than Trump insisted he needed to shore up the U.S. southern border. To bridge the gap, the president announced he will spend roughly $8 billion on border barriers—not necessarily a concrete wall—combining the money approved by Congress with funding he plans to repurpose through executive actions, including the national emergency.
Democrats in Congress and state governments indicated they planned to sue the administration to stop the executive action. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a rare joint statement, called it an “unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist,” adding it “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.”
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