President Donald Trump is scheduled to declare a national emergency today during remarks at the White House Rose Garden Friday at 10 a.m. EST. The declaration comes after Congress passed a spending bill last night that did not include the funding for the border wall that the Trump administration wanted. The bipartisan bill assigned $1.375 billion for barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, which is much less than the $5.7 billion that the president requested. The decision to declare a national emergency has drawn ire from both sides of the aisle, with many saying that the decision could be mired in the courts for a long time.
The president’s speech, originally scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern, has been delayed. He is expected to arrive shortly.
While the President’s decision to sign the spending bill averted a new government shutdown, his decision to declare a national emergency for the border wall is unprecedented, USA Today notes.
“They’re declared for all kinds of things,” said Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, in an interview with USA Today. “They’re absolutely common, which is why nobody blinks an eye about the whole thing – and then you get a case like this.”
The declaration will free up federal funds that he can utilize to construct the wall that he originally promised that Mexico would pay for. Congress has the ability to push back on the declaration but to do so legislators will need to pass a joint resolution. A bipartisan move like this could be a tall order, as the Democrats control the House and the Republicans hold the Senate. As USA Today pointed out, they will then need the President’s signature, which could prove near impossible to obtain. Their other option is to override his veto.
As mentioned earlier, some Republicans have already expressed displeasure about the president’s national emergency declaration.
“Declaring a national emergency for this purpose would be a mistake on the part of the president,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, to CBS News.“It is also of dubious constitutionality.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida echoed Collins’ doubts on the constitutionality of the national emergency. He also raised concerns that it represented an overreach of presidential power that could be exploited by a future Democratic president.
“Today’s national emergency is border security,” Rubio said. “But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal.”