President Donald Trump turned up the heat Monday in his efforts to build a border wall.
In recent days, Trump has been saying he has the power to build the wall by declaring a national emergency.
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. … I may do it. I may do it. … If we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving it a shot,” Trump said Friday, according to Fox News.
On Monday, he said he had support for that position.
“Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, ‘Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times.’ No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!” Trump tweeted.
Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, “Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times.” No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
Smith, a Democrat from Washington, made his comment while a guest on ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.
“There is a provision in law that says the president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times,” Smith said. “In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, where is the emergency? You have to establish that in order to do this.”
I joined @ThisweekABC to discuss the government shutdown and the President’s plan to declare a nat’l emergency to pay for his proposed border wall. He is shutting down the gov’t to break his signature campaign promise – that taxpayers weren’t going to have to pay for the wall. pic.twitter.com/oglk7azYKA
— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) January 6, 2019
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said Trump has all the authority he needs.
“Presidents have authority to defend the nation,” Mulvaney said.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 7, 2019
“Trump can surely test whether he has the power to declare a national emergency for this purpose,” said Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values, according to USA Today. “The National Emergencies Act allows him to declare a state of emergency without approval from anyone else.”
“So the question on the border wall is: Is there any emergency power stashed somewhere in an already-existing law that could be stretched to include the movement of funds appropriated for one purpose to be used for another?” Scheppele said.
Some have said Trump has no power to build the wall on his own.
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said Trump’s comments about declaring an emergency to build the wall amount to “really threatening talk” that “he doesn’t have the power to execute.”
However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump will do what he says.
“The president’s prepared to do what it takes to protect our borders, to protect the people of this country,” Sanders said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He knows that the No. 1 job he has as president and commander in chief is to protect its citizens.”
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