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WH to prepare defense for national emergency

As President Donald Trump visited the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas, sources tell CNN that White House lawyers have begun laying the groundwork for the legal defense of a national emergency declaration on the southern border.

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 12:57 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 1:27 PM

As President Donald Trump weighs declaring a national emergency to secure border wall funds, congressional Republicans have been split this week on whether the President should use such executive power.

Some senior Republican members have cautioned against declaring a national emergency to get funds for the border wall he's not getting from Congress.

"I think the President should not do it," Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and the most senior GOP member of the chamber, told CNN on Friday. "I think as a member of Congress I ought to be very selfish about the constitutional powers that we have to appropriate money. I think it might be a bad precedent."

He added, "I'm not saying he doesn't have the power but the most important thing here is he might be letting the Democrats off the hook."

The President had pushed for nearly $6 billion in funding for his border wall, while congressional Democrats have agreed to roughly $1 billion in border security -- but without any new funding for the wall. Both sides have so far refused to budge, leading Trump to toy with the possibility of declaring a national emergency as the partial government shutdown continues.

Rep. Mark Meadows, a close conservative ally of the President, argued it may be necessary to declare a national emergency due to the impasse between congressional Democrats and the White House.

"Democrats continue to refuse to negotiate in good faith or appropriate any money for border barriers," Meadows tweeted Friday morning. "If they won't compromise, POTUS should use asset forfeiture money or other discretionary fees to start construction. If not, he should declare a national emergency. It's time."

The National Emergencies Act of 1974 lays out how a president can activate special powers during a crisis. Trump has said his lawyers have advised him he's within his rights to take the step. Congress, however, can undo a state of emergency declaration, though it would likely require a veto-proof majority.

GOP Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi told CNN on Wednesday that declaring a national emergency "would be a mistake" and that members have communicated that Trump in a number of ways.

"Frankly, I'm not crazy about going down that path," Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranked Republican in the chamber, told CNN Thursday morning. "Inevitably, I suspect it probably gets challenged in court."

A key ally to the President, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, called on Trump to use emergency powers to fund the border wall's construction.

But even as he supports the President's push to invoke national emergency powers, Graham acknowledged to reporters on Thursday that "you're going to get challenged in court for sure as to whether or not this fits the statutory definition of an emergency.

Sen. John Cornyn told CNN on Monday that declaring a national emergency would make the situation "more complicated," and that court hearings and litigation "could carry this on for weeks and months and years."

Other GOP lawmakers are concerned over the possibility that the President might pull from military funds if he were to declare a national emergency. Under US law, Trump could use funds "that have not been obligated" within the Department of Defense's budget for a national emergency.

Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, made it clear Tuesday that he feels border security should be a responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Pentagon.

When asked if he thinks the GOP conference would back a national emergency declaration, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise told reporters Thursday that Republicans would like to see the border wall issue resolved legislatively rather than through emergency powers.

"But at the end of the day, we need to secure our border," he added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
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Columbus
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The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
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