President Trump has just declared a national emergency in order to secure funding for his long-promised border wall. This is a risky move for the president who is receiving push back from his opponents as well as those within his own party. White House officials claim that this decision will allow for starting funds to get further construction completed on the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. His decision comes after many failed attempts of Democrats and Republicans reaching an agreement on border security. Frustrated Senate leaders were quick to express their disapproval of the president's decision, according to NPR.
When news broke on Thursday that this major announcement was coming, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine stated that she believes that the current situation the nation faces does not warrant the label of a national emergency. She called Trump's action a "mistake" and said that such a declaration should be reserved for true emergency situations, for example, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Collins worries that future leaders may follow Trump's example and declare a national emergency in an effort to force Congress to their side - a potential violation of the constitution.
"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."U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who is running for the presidency in 2020, called the announcement "ridiculous" and questioned President Trump's priorities. She claimed that though border security is certainly a major issue, there are other hot topic issues that deserve more attention than they are getting.
"We don't need a wall. Instead, we should address the actual emergencies facing our country — everything from gun violence to the opioid crisis."Many Democrats believe that there is no crisis, except the situation that the president put himself in when he promised something he was unable to deliver. Democratic Representative Joaquín Castro of Texas is calling this a "fake emergency" and plans to fight Trump's decision, according to NBC. However, though Castro's termination efforts may succeed in the House of Representatives, it would be difficult to get them through the Senate, which is largely dominated by Republicans.
"I don't believe he would have the support in the Senate" he said.