The United States President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in an attempt to receive funds for his demand of a border wall at the border along with Mexico without any approval from the US Congress, a step which was likely to plunge him into a battle with congressional over constitutional power.
The US Senate has passed legislation on Thursday funding order security and massive budget but not Trump’s demand of a border wall after Trump committed to sign off the bill but said he would also be declaring a national emergency in order to get build US-Mexico border wall
According to Reuters news reports, the bill passed by both the US House of Representatives and US Senate was expected to go to the White House, on Friday, for Trump’s signature before he goes to Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago golf club, Florida, for a weekend break.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said, “President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action – including a national emergency.”
Top Democrats denounced Trump’s move. When asked if she would file a legal challenge to the national emergency declaration, House speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “I may, that’s an option.”
Chuck Schumer, a top Senate Democrat, accused Trump of “gross abuse of the power of the presidency”.
Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he would support the president on an emergency. McConnell had earlier this month, cautioned Trump that an emergency declaration could further divide Senate Republicans, as reported by the Washington Post. It could infringe on the US Congress’ authority to ramp up major decisions about a fundamental check, balance spelt to the constitution and taxpayer funds.
However, the national emergency state which was expected to be declared by Trump on Friday had already divided Republicans.
In a statement, Republican Senator Susan Collins said: “Declaring a national emergency for this purpose would be a mistake on the part of the president.”
However but, chairman of right-wing Republican factions and representative Mark Meadows said: “At this point, President Trump must look at taking executive action – and I will stand with him to protect our sovereign borders.”
Congressional aides have claimed that to block Trump’s emergency, House Democrats would ramp up various actions and steps, possibly including a lawsuit.
A senior White House official has said the administration had found about $7 billion reallocated to the border wall, also $600 million from treasury department fund, $3.5 billion from military construction budget and about $2.5 billion from defence department drug interdiction fund.
The fund would only cover a part of the estimated cost of $23 billion promised by the president along with 2,000 miles border along Mexico. A source said the White House lawyers with other agencies had evaluated the figures and believed that they would resist a legal challenge.