Trump Won’t Declare National Emergency ‘Right Now’ to Build Wall, End Shutdown

As the pressure to find a mutual solution over the current deadlock regarding the proposed border wall continues, President Donald Trump won’t be declaring a national emergency to get the funding he requires. The President will be seeking other alternatives instead, per a Reuters report.

A Record that The Donald Won’t Like

The current shutdown of the U.S. government is now the longest one on record. As it stands, there is no viable solution on the horizon, as the standoff between the President and the Democrats in the House of Representatives continues over border security. Having beaten the 21-day record set by the closure in 1995-96 under President Bill Clinton, the days continue to tick on as a large portion of the government is on lockdown, leaving public workers salaries unpaid.

No National Emergency

The President made the announcement on Friday while at a roundtable meeting for border security at the White House, noting that he wants Congress to step to the plate.
“We want Congress to do its job. What we’re not looking to do right now is a national emergency.”

His comments came amid speculations that he was meeting with White House lawyers and aides about the prospect of declaring a national emergency. In theory, such a scenario allows him to use executive authority to circumvent Congress and take a unilateral decision for the construction of his signature border wall. However, since such a move could spark a string of legal proceedings and investigations over the excessive use of executive powers, it seems Trump will pursue other courses of action.

Trump Urges Democrats to Get in Line

Rather than choose to declare a national emergency, the President has urged House Democrats to approve the funding. The House Democrats, under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and minority leader Senator Chuck Schumer were instructed to approve the disbursement of the $5.7 billion, which Trump says will help solve a “humanitarian crisis.”

During the roundtable meeting, Trump said, “The easy solution is for me to call a national emergency. I could do that very quickly. I have the absolute right to do it. But I’m not going to do it so fast. Because this is something, Congress should do.”

Increasing Pressure from Senate Republicans

Trump had previously refused the Democrats proposed government funding bill. At the time, repeatedly saying that he won’t sign anything that doesn’t involve consideration for a border wall. The government shutdown has reportedly left about 800,000 government workers without salaries. These numbers, as well as the effects that the closure is having on food inspections, national parks, and the economy, has left some Senate Republicans uncomfortable with the president’s stance.

Earlier this week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla) said, “If today the national emergency is border security, tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change.”
Also, in an interview, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) spoke on his disapproval of a national emergency, saying it should only be declared for the most extreme cases.

Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:30 PM

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