Trump’s border national emergency is more complicated than it looks – Washington Examiner

President Trump declared a national emergency in addition to avoiding a government shutdown by signing a continuing resolution that passed the House and Senate. But there was one particular admission from Trump that was a bit puzzling.

During his announcement, Trump responded to a question from Peter Alexander of NBC News specifically about not getting the deal he wanted from Congress.

“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster,” Trump said.

That’s an odd thing to say with respect to declaring a national emergency in that he did not need to declare one. Can this hurt Trump in the courts? Well, the answer isn’t so simple.

According to University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck, “the legal dispute won’t be over whether there really is an ‘emergency'; it will be over whether the statutory authorities an emergency declaration unlocks actually authorize wall construction.”

So that means it may not matter in the courts what Trump says his motivations are for declaring a national emergency, just whether declaring one can actually get his administration the funds it needs to build a wall.

According to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump is seeking roughly $8 billion for the border wall. $3.6 billion of it is coming from 10 U.S.C. § 2808, which is tied to the national emergency, $2.5 billion is coming from 10 U.S.C. § 284, which is Department of Defense money moved to counter-drug funds, $1.4 billion comes from the fiscal 2018 funding bill, and $600 million is coming from the Treasury forfeiture fund.

Obviously, it’s left to the courts to decide whether Trump’s national emergency will hold. Seeing as how his national emergency only counts for a percentage of the funding, it looks like Trump will at least get some parts of the wall built.


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