Almost immediately,New York and California were the first two states to suggest that they will take action against Trump’s emergency declaration. His declaration is aimed at billions of dollars in funds to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
New York state attorney general Leticia James (D) immediately fired back after Trump announced his declaration.
‘We will not stand for this abuse of power and will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal.’
California governor Gavin Newsom (D) described the president’s national emergency as “made up.” Newsom said:
‘Our message back to the White House is simple and clear: California will see you in court.’
As of Monday, a total of 16 states had banded together to sue Trump over the emergency declaration.
During his announcement in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said:
‘We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers with all types of criminals and gangs.’
Then, contradicting the urgency, he told NBC’s Peter Alexander that the move wasn’t really necessary. The president said:
‘I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.’
So it came right out of Mr. Trump’s mouth that a border wall costing billions of dollars is not actually a national emergency. During his emergency proclamation on Friday afternoon, Trump stated though:
‘The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis.’
Republicans have also warned Trump about declaring a national emergency because it is a gray area of the law which raises concerns about executive power.
According to The Atlantic:
‘It isn’t clear how an emergency declaration to build a border wall would work, nor whether courts would approve it in the inevitable legal challenge to come. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a close ally of McConnell’s, has said he opposes the idea because it could empower a future Democratic president to proclaim an emergency of his or her own.’
In addition, despite the legal challenges Trump’s emergency declaration will face, the administration will still need to come up with the funds for the border wall without Congress’ help.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also warned Trump privately against making the declaration. McConnell explained to the president that if he did so, Congress might try to override him with a resolution and that enough Republicans might join with Democrats for the resolution to succeed.
Democrats are able to force a battle over funding through spending bills since they control one chamber. However, only the GOP-controlled Senate has the ability to decide the fate of the emergency declaration by joining the House to vote against it.
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