Trump declares national emergency after signing bill to avert shutdown

Democrats have criticized US president Donald Trump’s decision to sign a border security and federal spending bill to avert another shutdown, while also intending to declare a national emergency to build a border wall.

Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Democratic Party (United States) President of the United States United States Chuck Schumer

The white house said on Thursday, Trump will declare a national emergency to try to obtain funds for his promised US-Mexico border wall. Trump also signed a border security bill to avoid another government shutdown.

Despite facing legal ramifications, Trump’s administration has said he could use national emergency powers to redirect money toward paying for the wall.

The bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate on Thursday before going to the Democrats for final congressional approval. The Senate passed the federal spending legislation by a margin of 83-16.

‘President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,’ White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Democrats denounce national emergency declaration

Democratic house of representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, immediately denounced the president's move.

Pelosi was asked by reporters if she would file a legal challenge to an emergency declaration, to which she said, "I may, that's an option."

Democrat senator, Chuck Schumer also denounced the emergency, and accused Trump of a "gross abuse of the power of the presidency."

However, his decision comes to no surprise to analysts, after Trump had been threatening to declare a national emergency for weeks.

Pelosi accused Trump of doing "an end-run" around Congress. ‘It's not an emergency, what's happening at the border. It's a humanitarian challenge to us,’ Pelosi said.

Wall fight could end badly

Trump’s fellow republicans warned that declaring a national emergency could set a dangerous precedent to future democratic presidents, which could declare emergencies on climate change or healthcare insurance.

Pelosi said, ‘If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created as an emergency – an illusion that he wants to convey – just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people.’ She then cited US gun violence as an emergency.


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