A day after President Trump declared a national emergency – to try to bypass Congress and redirect taxpayers' money to fund 230 km of barriers along the US-Mexico border – this appointment was beset by political challenges and legal.
Democrats have presented the action as evidence of a rogue president who has finally gone too far, and they have vowed to stop him. While some Republicans said that they supported Trump, others expressed disapproval, fearing that this decision would create an unwanted precedent or deprive other projects of necessary funds.
Even in his statement, Trump said that he was waiting to be prosecuted and that the Supreme Court would rule on the case in the last resort. Nevertheless, during a freewheeling press conference Friday afternoon, he tried to justify the action of the executive in the hope of keeping an election promise that has eluded him ever since. two years.
Trump's announcement ended a frenzied two-month period, which included the longest government shutdown in US history, at 35 days; the re-emergence of Democrats as a political force; and a Republican party caught between taking Trump's signals and countering his unconventional impulses. This also opens a new phase of his presidency that will test the separation of powers, while he bypasses Congress despite Republicans urging restraint.
During a press conference of more than 50 minutes, led by Rose Garden, Trump presented little empirical evidence to support his contention that there would be a border crisis requiring an answer extraordinary. Instead, he invoked a hyperbolic rhetoric-like campaign about anarchy, claiming that only the walls could suit him.
"We are talking about a drug invasion in our country, human traffickers, criminals and gangs of all kinds," he said. He used the word "invasion" seven times.
Later, he declared that the emergency declaration was not urgent but rather timely, as it would help to build a wall faster than Congress allows.
"I could do the wall for a longer period," he said. "I did not need to do that, but I prefer to do it much faster."
The Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union explained how they would try to block Trump's wall. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (DN.Y.), said that he would summon White House lawyer Pat Cipollone to Capitol Hill to explain the reason for the House -Blanche.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, said he plans to work with other states to sue the White House. The ACLU said it was preparing a lawsuit itself, arguing that Trump could not legally redirect taxpayers' money in an emergency, unless it was for military construction projects supporting the military. . On Friday afternoon, the Public Citizen advocacy group filed a lawsuit in Washington's federal court to block Trump's statement on behalf of Texas landowners and an environmental group.
Democrats and several Republicans have predicted a two-pronged response to the statement: first, the congressional vote to reject it in the coming weeks, and second, the pursuit of Trump – or at least to help other parties who are trying to intervene.
"The actions of the President clearly violate the exclusive power of the Congress on the Stock Exchange, enshrined in the Constitution by our founders," said Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) And Leader of the Senate Minority Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) statement. "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities before the Congress, in the courts and in front of the public, using all available remedies."
Pelosi and Schumer said, "We call on our Republican colleagues to join us in defending the Constitution."
Republicans are divided on Trump's statement. Many of them are confused by what they see as a seizure of executive power, while others are not willing to challenge the president before the 2020 presidential and legislative elections.
Senator Thom Tillis (RN.C.), who will face a race for reelection next year, suggested that it would be hypocritical on the part of Republicans to support the statement. Urgency after criticizing President Barack Obama for "executive overreach," and he suggested to future Democratic presidents could follow Trump's precedent.
Tillis described a future "President Bernie Sanders declaring a national emergency to implement the Radical Green New Deal" or a "President Elizabeth Warren declaring a national emergency to close banks and regain control of the country's financial institutions."
"I do not believe in the principles of the situation," he said.
Other Republicans have made an even simpler objection: declaring a national emergency could prompt Trump to transfer funds from other desperately needed projects.
The representative Mac Thornberry (Tex.), The highest Republican representative of the Armed Forces Committee of the House, warned against recourse to the account of the Ministry of Defense and accounts of military construction for the construction of the wall.
"This would have negative consequences for our troops," he said in a statement released Thursday. "And that would jeopardize one of the most important achievements of the last two years: to start repairing and rebuilding our army. I hope the President will pursue other options. "
The question was more than a constitutional discussion for Republicans. The Democrats said they would proceed with a disapproving resolution that would force GOP lawmakers to vote for the Trump Wall or oppose its urgent request – with some political repercussions.
Friday afternoon, Representative Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) Said that he had gathered more than 60 co-authors for the resolution.
Such a move would be passed by the House controlled by the Democrats and more than enough Republicans could break ranks to ensure passage to the Senate. But it is certain that Trump will veto the resolution and that Congress probably could not get enough votes to cancel a veto.
Legislative Legislative staff huddled at Capitol Hill at 2 pm Friday, shortly after the proclamation of the White House. According to a Democratic official, no decision has been made as to how Congress will proceed with a formal measure of disapproval, but House and Senate leaders should act cautiously to convince as many Republicans as possible possible.
The most serious threat to Trump's move could be litigation, with many parties exploring legal challenges – including Democratic House leaders who have been considering various options for months.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) Said on Thursday that he was not considering an emergency statement as a "practical solution" for Trump, as a dispute could suspend any possible funding of the wall for months. or years, the time that the lawsuits are settled by themselves.
"I thought there were other better solutions," he said.
White House officials want to approve projects and reallocate funds as quickly as possible, but no timetable has been set.
Part of their strategy is to use a prominent domain to seize private properties along the border, especially in Texas, where they want to install parts of the fence. This should open a new set of legal procedures for private owners.
Other parts of the approach are also unclear. White House officials, for example, did not specify how they planned to solicit bids for projects or what kind of process they would follow. Congressional Democrats and some heads of state, meanwhile, have sworn to try to stop work before it even begins.
Trump has long claimed that the United States is full of rapists, murderers and other violent criminals who illegally enter Mexico, and he is committed to remedying the situation by building a wall. Government data shows, however, that border crossing attempts remain close to the lowest levels in 40 years, and that drug traffickers are mainly trying to get hard drugs through ports of entry, not gaps between drugs. border barriers, as suggested by Trump.
The biggest challenge at the border in recent years has been the influx of families seeking to go to the United States and seek asylum, a multitude of border services officers and facilities in the United States.
White House officials plan to use $ 8 billion to build a new fence that they believe will block or discourage a wide range of immigrants.
An amount of $ 1.375 billion was approved by Congress on Thursday and can be used for 55 km of "pedestrian fences" in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
The White House plans to use $ 600 million from the Treasury's confiscation fund account, which contains funds seized by the federal government for various illicit activities.
An additional $ 2.5 billion would be allocated to a Pentagon program to combat drug-related activities, and a balance of $ 3.6 billion would be transferred from military construction accounts. It is this last pot of money which, according to White House officials, required the national declaration of emergency, because it is generally forbidden for the White House to transfer money from one account to another without congressional approval.
Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to build a border wall and finance it through Mexico. Since becoming president, he has insisted that the money come from American taxpayers.
White House officials have said that more than 50 national emergencies have been reported since the 1970s, attempting to refute concerns that Trump was escaping his authority in taking this step.
"This is already the power of the president," said Mick Mulvaney, acting chief of staff of the White House. "It's not like he just did not get what he wanted, so he waved a magic wand and took a lot of money."
But some presidential historians have said Trump's move was unusual, partly because he did not explain how it would improve a situation he did not precisely define. White House officials Friday would not have revealed where the new border gates would be placed.
The presidents have already taken extraordinary steps, sometimes evoking the crises facing the United States. Abraham Lincoln stayed the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War in 1861, which facilitated the arrest of someone without bringing him before a judge.
President Harry Truman attempted to nationalize the steel industry in the 1950s, in the tense climate created by the Korean War. he was reprimanded by the Supreme Court.
Presidential scholars have stated that Trump's approach Friday, though extreme in his rhetoric, will be viewed in a very different way, even as he tries to use the 1976 National Emergencies Act to back up his record. This is because Trump does not react to an obvious crisis for the American people, but takes action after Congress has rejected his request for funding for the past two years.
"This further reduces the importance of the Congress," said Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian. "It's an imperial presidency with crazy eyes."
In his remarks on the Garden of Roses, Trump suggested that he had already reflected on the legal minefield that his decision was likely to cross. He predicted that lower court judges and the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would probably rule on him before the administration finally prevailed.
"We will have a national emergency and then we will be sued, they will sue us on the 9th circuit, even if that should not be the case, and we will eventually have a bad decision, then we will have another bad decision and then we will meet at the Supreme Court, and hope we get a fair shake, "he said.
As part of the national emergency declaration, Trump signed a $ 333 billion spending bill that funds many government operations until September. This avoided a government shutdown that would have started on Saturday.
Josh Dawsey, Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade contributed to this report.
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