WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump held a media briefing in the Rose Garden on Friday morning to inform the nation he is declaring a national emergency in order to fund the border wall with Mexico he promised to voters ahead of his election.
Following the recent partial government shutdown, Congress created a border security package that allows for $1.4 billion to fund border barriers. The President had requested at least $5.7 billion. He still signed the compromise to avoid another shutdown that would impact hundreds of thousands of government employees.
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told the Associated Press the new plan calls for using the $1.4 billion, plus $600 million in Treasury forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion in Defense Department counterdrug money, and an estimated $3.6 billion in funds set aside for military construction projects.
That’s a total of about $8 billion. Mulvaney denies rumors the president will divert disaster recovery funds for Texas and Puerto Rico.
President Trump spoke of expected legal challenges during his morning conversation with reporters, indicating he would not be surprised if it ends up before the U.S. Supreme Court. He predicted, “we will be very successful in court.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer predictably warned they will fight this action “in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public.”
Our own Senator Michael Bennet says:
“Whatever your politics, every American should worry about President Trump’s attempt to bypass the U.S. Congress by inventing a national emergency. This is not how the world’s oldest democracy should conduct itself. The President should not declare a national emergency to fulfill a campaign promise that neither the Congress nor the American people support. This is a dangerous precedent that should concern everyone who cares about the health of our democracy and our institutions.”
Senator Cory Gardner says:
“I continue to believe that shutdowns are never the right answer and Congress is most appropriately situated to fund border security. I’ve long supported immigration reform that includes more dollars for border security and there has always been broad bipartisan support for such efforts. I’m currently reviewing the authorities the Administration is using to declare a national emergency.”
AP Fact Checks President Trump’s statements amid national disaster declaration