STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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.

Border control

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Immigration

Immigration politics

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations

International relations and national security

National security

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Political platforms and issues

Politics

Territorial and national borders

US Congress

US Democratic Party

US political parties

US Republican Party

US-Mexico border wall

US House of Representatives

"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: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 54°
Columbus
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 51°
Oxford
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Fall has started off exactly as you would have anticipated and it looks like we should have a number of dry days still ahead, but this isn’t a permanent switch, because heat is pegged to return.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather