Trump's allies get set for fierce fight over emergency declaration

Feb 19, 2019, 00:43
Trump's allies get set for fierce fight over emergency declaration

Miller, however, told "Fox News Sunday" that when Trump said he "didn't need" to declare an emergency, he was really saying that he was not going to be like past presidents and "ignore this crisis".

A resolution of disapproval would let Congress overturn Trump's declaration and would likely pass in the Democratically controlled House of Representatives.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said he thinks he has "a lot of discretion" in deciding which funds previously allocated for defense needs can instead be used to build a border wall.

Indeed, Trump's national emergency declaration would allow him to differ billions of dollars in Pentagon spending away from other priorities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic state attorneys general already have said they might go to court.

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Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of OH, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said he's heard from Republicans concerned that Trump's declaration is unconstitutional and might take money from government projects they've supported.

Congress does have the ability to invalidate the declaration, but this would require a joint resolution which, if passed, would need the signature of the President to be effective.

One possible advantage for California is that its case likely could at some point go to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. circuit court of Appeals, which has dealt Trump setbacks on previous policies including the travel ban and potentially could impose or uphold an injunction against the emergency declaration.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time", Trump said, explaining that he is now rolling out dictatorial policy that the Constitution expressly forbids.

Miller rejected the assertion that a wall would not be effective against the arrival of undocumented migrants, which has been declining for more than two decades, or contribute to the interception of illegal drugs, which government figures show overwhelmingly enter the USA through monitored ports and border crossings.

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Only twice before have presidents declared national emergencies to move money around within the government without Congressional approval.

The Trump administration intends to use the emergency powers invoked by the president on Friday to begin construction of a border wall as quickly as possible, White House officials said over the weekend.

Trump declared the national emergency on Friday and shortly after his announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted that it would be suing the president. "It will not be a separation of power anymore - it will be a separation of parties".

The White House said Trump would not try to redirect federal disaster aid to the wall, including future expected funding to aid victims of Hurricane Michael, a proposal they had considered but rejected over fears of a political blowback. The number of people arrested for illegally crossing the border was at a 46-year low as of 2017, and the waves of people trying to enter aren't terrorist groups but families and individuals seeking refuge.

The response of the corporate media to the declaration of a national emergency has been a combination of complacency and indifference. Asked if he would approve of wall construction funds being drawn from military budgets such as that for a school on a base in Kentucky, he said: "I would say it's better for the middle-school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border". His national emergency creates far more problems than it solves and is a complete overextension of executive powers.

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Anyone directly affected by the order can challenge it in court, which Ms Elizabeth Goitein - co-director of the Brennan Centre for Justice's Liberty and National Security Programme - said will nearly certainly happen in this case.