Trump declares U.S.-Mexico border emergency; Democrats protest

By Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S.

Reuters February 16, 2019 01:08:04 IST
Trump declares U.S.-Mexico border emergency; Democrats protest

Trump declares USMexico border emergency Democrats protest

By Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican president's move circumventing Congress represented a new approach to a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to halt the flow of immigrants into the country, which Trump maintains spreads crime and drugs.

He was also expected later on Friday to sign a bipartisan government spending bill Congress approved on Thursday that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday.

Trump made no direct mention in his Rose Garden comments of the funding bill, which represents a legislative defeat for him since it contains no money for his proposed wall - the focus of weeks of conflict between him and Democrats in Congress.

Trump's demand that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund the agencies triggered a historic, 35-day December-January government shutdown that damaged the U.S. economy and his opinion poll numbers.

By reorienting his wall-funding quest toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency, Trump now risks plunging into a lengthy battle with Democrats and dividing his fellow Republicans.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent the transfer of funds from accounts Trump likely would target to pay for the wall.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, swiftly responded to Trump's declaration.

"The president's actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution," they said in a statement. "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

New York state's attorney general, Letitia James, said her office would also challenge Trump in court.

"We won't stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal," James wrote on Twitter.

The president acknowledged that his order would face a lengthy legal fight. "We'll win in the Supreme Court," Trump predicted.

Legal experts said the Trump administration may prevail.

The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives the president broad leeway to declare an emergency. The law also includes a mechanism for Congress to oppose such a declaration.

If Congress fails to vote down Trump’s declaration of an emergency, said law professors Jonathan Turley of Georgetown University and William Banks of Syracuse University, courts will be reluctant to substitute their national security judgment for those of Congress and the president.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Roberta Rampton; additional reporting by David Morgan, Steve Holland, Susan Cornwell, Makini Brice, Alison Frankel and Eric Beech; writing by James Oliphant, Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.