Republicans divided on whether Trump should declare national emergency to get border wall funds

As President Donald Trump weighs declaring a national emergency to secure border wall funds, congressional R...

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 8:11 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 8:11 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.

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"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: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6289144
Lamar613384
Lafayette6072117
Washington5291133
Bolivar4776129
Oktibbeha457197
Panola4458103
Pearl River4437141
Warren4299119
Marshall4286102
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
Neshoba4005176
Lincoln3886109
Hancock373385
Leflore3471124
Sunflower331589
Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
Yazoo305069
Alcorn299465
Itawamba297877
Copiah293965
Coahoma290479
Simpson289586
Tippah285168
Prentiss276659
Marion266279
Leake261773
Wayne261541
Grenada256484
Covington255280
Adams246982
Newton245761
George238547
Winston226081
Tishomingo222567
Jasper220048
Attala213673
Chickasaw205457
Holmes187172
Clay183254
Stone179733
Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
Calhoun165431
Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
Tunica103225
Claiborne101330
Benton97525
Kemper95628
Humphreys94632
Franklin82923
Quitman78916
Choctaw73917
Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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