Trump backs off national emergency threat

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports on federal workers without pay and Trump's back and forth on whether to declare a national emergency as the government shutdown becomes the longest in history.

Posted: Jan 13, 2019 6:23 AM
Updated: Jan 13, 2019 6:23 AM

The shutdown continues because both sides think they are winning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is maintaining a strong front by steadfastly opposing any money for President Donald Trump's border wall, which she called a "waste of money" and an "immorality." Meanwhile, a national Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in the first week of January found most Americans blame Trump for the shutdown instead of congressional Democrats. And Pelosi seems to believe that if her party and most of the American people are behind her, she can continue holding her ground without facing political ramifications.

Trump, on the other hand, also believes he's winning, since he feels Democrats are overplaying their hand by refusing to acknowledge the serious problems at our southern border. Trump might be right, as one survey conducted by Politico and Morning Consult found 79% of voters believing there to be either a "crisis" or a "problem" on the border. Only 12% said there is neither a crisis or a problem on the border. Even though voters are blaming Trump for the shutdown, a large majority of Americans are likely sympathetic to Trump when it comes to calls for increased border security.

What's easy to forget is that Democrats supported a barrier at the US-Mexico border back in 2006, when Senators Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (along with several other current legislators) voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act, which called for 700 miles of the border to be covered by double-tier fencing.

"The bill before us will certainly do some good," Obama said at the time, claiming the double-tier fence would "help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this country." Democrats seemed to think barriers were a good idea before Trump adopted them as his signature policy. And barriers do work, according to some of the folks who actually guard America's southern border.

But Democrats have dug their heels in when it comes to Trump's wall. This opposition may come at a cost, as some GOP strategists think Democrats are hurting their chances of making inroads in middle America by declaring their opposition to Trump's border security measures.

The president and his party are also facing plenty of political traps ahead. As Trump considers declaring a national emergency to build his wall without congressional approval, some conservatives worry that decision will open Pandora's Box. On Friday night, Trump said that if Congress fails to act, "I will declare a national emergency. I have the absolute right to do it."

Some congressional Republicans are nervous about this, even as they acknowledge all legislative efforts to break the logjam have failed. It might be that an emergency declaration is Trump's only way out.

But what would happen? Trump's plan would likely face lawsuits and potentially spark an override vote. The law under which Trump would declare the national emergency allows Congress to overrule the President, and Pelosi would almost certainly have the votes to do it.

Senate Republican leaders would not be able to ignore it, as it would be a privileged item demanding immediate floor action. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have no choice but to open debate and then hold a vote in which a simple majority is all that would be needed to embarrass the President. McConnell would rather spend valuable floor time on things like confirming the President's judges instead of debating something the President would ultimately veto anyway.

Conservatives are also worried about the precedent an emergency declaration would set. Someday, a liberal president could declare national emergencies allowing for a Green New Deal, gun confiscation, Medicare for All, compulsory voting, and other far left policies that would cause conservative heads to explode. Who wants President Ocasio-Cortez in their garage confiscating their pickup truck and shotgun? Not I.

As this stalemate wears on, I can't help but think of the Kenny Rogers hit song "The Gambler." Both Trump and Pelosi have decided not to "walk away" from what they perceive to be a winning hand. But as the tune goes, "every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser, and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."

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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