President Trump has confirmed that he is about to declare a national emergency to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown, but will also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall. Something the Democrats are not happy about.
In response to the announcement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Republicans that Trump’s decision would backfire, and threatened that the next Democratic president could do the same on guns.
“A Democratic president can declare emergencies, as well,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.”
CNBC reports: If Trump follows through, lawmakers and the White House would dodge their second partial shutdown since December, sparing about 800,000 federal workers from more financial pain.
But the emergency declaration could quickly spark lawsuits challenging the president’s authority, creating yet another fight over his key campaign promise.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “may” file a legal challenge and will review her options, she said Thursday.
The emergency declaration would allow Trump to redirect funds from other parts of the government to the project without congressional approval.
The move could in part assuage conservative critics who argued the president should not accept the latest congressional plan, which denied him the funding he demanded for the border barrier.
He had threatened the action for weeks, splitting the GOP caucus as some Republicans argued it would set a dangerous precedent. Trump repeatedly cast the emergency declaration as a decision rather than a necessity, which could weaken his legal case for the move.