National Emergency Sparks Controversy

Adam Wartel, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

On Friday, Feb. 15, President Trump officially declared a National Emergency to obtain funding for a border wall on the nation’s southern border.  This declaration has sparked controversy and debate about the legality and necessity.

President Trump’s decision to declare a National Emergency has caused a variety of reactions from the political community.  

Some congressional Republicans have supported Trump’s declaration, claiming it is necessary.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “Congress is failing to do what it should do” in an interview with NPR.  

“Congress, in the past, has passed legislation – $44 billion in 2013 for border security, 9 billion for barriers… So all of a sudden to say that the border is not broken is unusual,” he continued.

On the other side of the argument, many Democrats, as well as some Republicans, have opposed President Trump’s declaration.

In the House of Representatives, the Democrats’ majority allowed them to overturn Trump’s declaration on Tuesday, Feb. 26.  Thirteen Republicans joined the Democrats, according to the New York Times.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a speech used to convince Republicans to support the measure to overturn the declaration, asked, “Is your oath to Donald Trump or is it to the Constitution of the United States?”

In addition, in President Trump’s speech announcing the declaration he said, “I can do the wall over a longer period of time.  I didn’t need to do this. I would rather do it much faster.”

Many critics claim this statement to be an admission of the lack of necessity, as it appears to be Trump claiming his own action is unnecessary.

The opposition to the declaration also comes from within Trump’s GOP, with thirteen House Republicans voting to block the declaration, and twelve Republican Senators also voting to block the declaration.

Although some Republicans claim to support the wall, they likely opposed the declaration because of the dangerous precedent it sets.

After the measure to block Trump’s declaration passed both the House and the Senate, Trump tweeted twice the same day about how he “[Looks] forward to VETOING the… Resolution”.  

On Friday, March 15, President Trump signed a veto on the measure that would block his Emergency Declaration, his first veto in office.

Trump’s use of a National Emergency declaration to obtain funding for the wall after congress did not allocate funds to a wall could create a new method for presidents to gain funding without congressional approval.