President Trump announced that he is declaring a national emergency in order to build a wall at the southern border.Trump made the announcement in the White House’s Rose Garden, saying:
“I’m going to be signing a national emergency. It’s been signed many times before.”
“We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers with all types of criminals and gangs,” Trump said in remarks delivered in the White House Rose Garden just before he issued the order.
“They say walls don’t work,” Trump said. “Walls work 100% of the time.”
Trump also acknowledged he is likely to face considerable legal challenges for taking executive action.
“I expect to be sued,” he said. “I shouldn’t be sued.”
In a joint statement responding to the emergency declaration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described it as unlawful and said it “does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation.”
“The President’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution,” they said. “The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.
They added: “The President is not above the law. The Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution.”
The acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, also downplayed the assertion that what Trump is doing is unprecedented.
“There’s been some concern in the media about whether or not this creates a dangerous precedent,” Mulvaney told reporters. “It actually creates zero precedent. This is authority given to the president in the law already. It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money.