It looks like President Trump is pushing towards fulfilling his vow to build a wall on the southern border – one way or another. After a long, hard-fought battle with the Democrats over border security, it appears that the president is taking matters into his own hands.
After resistance from the Democrats – and even some Republicans – Trump is poised to work around Congress to obtain funding for the physical barrier. Naturally, the Dems aren’t too happy about this new development and will undoubtedly use every means at their disposal to ensure that the border remains without a wall. But what will happen next?
The fight resulted in the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history…
The conflict over border security became more intense when the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives at the beginning of the year. The fight resulted in the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history, with both parties refusing to budge on their respective positions.
When the shutdown ended, Republicans and Democrats in Congress went back to the drawing board to iron out a deal that would work for both parties. The agreement they negotiated left much to be desired when it comes to securing the border. After a meeting with the president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that Trump would sign the proposed bill and then declare a national emergency to build the wall:
“I had an opportunity to speak with President Trump and he, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated he’s prepared to sign the bill. He also [will] be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. I indicated I’m going to support the national emergency declaration.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders affirmed McConnell’s announcement in an emailed statement. “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 – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” she wrote.
The Democrats Protest
After the White House made the announcement, Democrats rushed to excoriate the president for subverting Congress to erect the wall. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “There is word the president will declare a national emergency. I hope he won’t. That would be a very wrong thing to do.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also made her disapproval known at a press conference. “If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created — an illusion that he wants to convey, just think what a president with different values can present to the American people,” she argued.
But one Democratic lawmaker gave an indication of what we can expect to see next. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted: “If @realDonaldTrump declares a #NationalEmergency to build a wall, he will be met with a phrase he’s quite familiar with, ‘See you in court.’”
Swalwell’s prediction is the most likely outcome of President Trump’s decision to issue a national emergency. Indeed, it was already widely believed that legal action would follow any such declaration from the White House. Even before Trump made his announcement, many were speculating on the legality of such an action.
In a recent interview on ABC’s This Week, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the new chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said: “Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times.” But he also stated that such a move would certainly face legal challenges.
So where will this battle go next? If the predictions are accurate, this conflict is headed for the courts, where the victor will be decided. There’s no indication as to who will win this fight, but it is clear that the war over the border wall is far from over.