President Trump may be pursuing one strategy of fully funding the border wall without congressional approval and could do so as early as tonight.
As the Washington Examiner reports, Trump is still prioritizing the method of getting congressional approval but claims he has the authority to declare a national emergency and fund the wall as a result.
The Washington Examiner reports:
President Trump said Monday he’d rather work with Congress to fund a border wall, even though he believes he has the legal option of funding it on his own by declaring a national emergency.
He made his comment in response to House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., who indicated that Trump does have some authority to take emergency action in the name of national security. Smith made his remark Sunday, but Trump appeared to be responding to it when Fox News replayed it early Monday.
The president hinted at declaring a national emergency in a tweet which read, “Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, ‘Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times.’ No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!”
The Federalist also reports, “During negotiations to end the government shutdown last week, President Trump said he might declare a national emergency over the southern border in order to bypass Congress and build his wall with defense funding. Trump repeated this threat on Sunday, then on Monday morning announced he would address the nation tonight regarding what he called ‘the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.'”
In the case of a national emergency, as the Washington Examiner also reports, Trump would be authorized to use military funding for the border wall’s construction.
Earlier Friday, Trump told reporters that he was eyeing using his emergency powers to direct military funding toward constructing a border wall, amid a partial government shutdown over dispute for funding the project.
“We can call a national emergency,” said Trump, who has previously floated the idea before. “I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. It’s another way of doing it.”
President Trump and Congress are currently deadlocked in a fight over funding to open up the government and end its 3-week-long shutdown. Trump wants $5 billion to fund the construction of a border wall but Democrats in the House and Senate have refused the request.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has offered stop-gap legislation which would reopen the government but it did not include border wall funding. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has prevented any Republican-led efforts from getting a vote in his chamber.
The Daily Caller has more:
The Republican-led House passed a stopgap funding bill on Dec. 20 that included $5.7 billion to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. However, with a 51-seat majority, Senate Republicans fell short of the necessary 60 votes needed to send it to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature.