(Washington D.C.) – This morning from the Rose Garden, President Trump declared a national emergency in order to secure funds to repair and expand the border wall with Mexico.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the President’s plan to sign the budget deal but also declare a national emergency, combining the nearly $1.4 billion Congress is providing with nearly $8 billion found from other sources.
Trump referred to the border situation as “the national security and humanitarian crisis on our southern border”.
The announcement comes after Congress failed to send even a third of the requested funds after nearly two months of negotiations.
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that Congress is, “simply incapable of providing the amount of money necessary in the president’s eyes to address the situation at the border.”
“With the declaration of a national emergency, the president will have access to roughly $8 billion worth of money to secure the southern border.” – White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney
Funds identified for redirection include:
- $600 million from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund
- $1.3 billion from the 2019 appropriations bill
- $2.5 billion from counter-drug activities at the Department of Defense
- $3.6 billion from the military construction budget
President Trump is taking flack from both sides for the move, Democrats calling it “unlawful” and some conservatives calling it unconstitutional.
“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution.” – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) warned that the unilateral action sets a concerning precedent for future administrations:
“If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think about what a president with different values can present to the American people.”
The President appeared resolute in his decision:
“Today I’m announcing several critical actions that my administration is taking to confront a problem that we have right here at home. We fight wars that are 6,000 miles away, wars that we should’ve never been in – in many cases – but we don’t control our own border. So we’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we’re going to do it one way or another.”