WASHINGTON – Standing in the Rose Garden, President Trump declares a state of emergency on the southern border, directing $8 billion to build or repair 234 miles of southern border barriers. The move has already received criticism by Democrats and some Republicans.
Trump’s announcement coincides with the signing of another bill that averts a government shutdown. The bill would provide almost $1.4 billion for 55 miles additional border fencing. This is far less than the $5.7 billion Trump previously requested.
Where the border wall will come from
President Trump says that there is “an invasion of our country” happening on the border. The President highlighting drugs, human traffickers, criminals, and MS-13 gangs leading to the emergency status.
The Trump administration is seeking to redirect funds to the wall. They are looking at $3.6 billion from a military construction fund. $600 million from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund and $2.5 billion from a DOD drug prevention program.
Responding to press questions as to whether he should be “taking away” from the military, the President reminds America that more than $14 billion dollars was previously allocated to rebuild the military. And that more is forthcoming.
Furthermore, President Trump says that Military leaders support his use of the funds. The $600 million from the drug forfeiture fund are assets captured from drug trafficking, like that of El Chapo.
Stopping drugs from entering the country is absolutely a step toward prevention.
There is a general agreement that the previous Congress should have taken care of funding the border wall. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan and members of Congress are being criticized for not getting the money needed for the wall. “Some people didn’t step up. We are stepping up now,” says the President.
Both House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer allege President Trump was going “outside the bounds of the law” to build his wall when he failed to convince a Republican Congress to do so.
President Trump says he will receive “bad rulings” in the lower courts. Nonetheless, the president says he expects the issue will head to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, he believes SCOTUS will uphold the National Emergency edict.
The White House says new border wall construction will begin in Texas.
Previous National Emergencies
Since 1976, presidents have declared 58 national emergencies. President George W. Bush declared a national emergency after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Trump’s demand for a border wall, was at the center of a budget standoff that triggered a 35-day government shutdown late last year. The shutdown eventually ended in late January.
By signing the Congressional bill, Trump avoids another shutdown. By declaring a National Emergency he fulfills his first commitment to the American people, and that is their protection.