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.

Confirmed Cases: 93556

Reported Deaths: 2810
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6974155
DeSoto541155
Harrison373272
Jackson338867
Madison320886
Rankin319075
Lee260667
Jones242078
Forrest239070
Washington217971
Lafayette208439
Lauderdale1999124
Bolivar179465
Oktibbeha175050
Lamar163134
Neshoba1536103
Panola144027
Sunflower141744
Lowndes139957
Warren138150
Leflore136980
Pontotoc123416
Pike121248
Monroe118865
Scott116425
Copiah116233
Coahoma112327
Holmes109258
Marshall107615
Lincoln106753
Grenada106135
Yazoo103829
Simpson101143
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91936
Wayne87721
Pearl River86550
Marion84133
Prentiss81117
Covington80522
Alcorn77311
Itawamba76221
Newton75723
Tallahatchie75418
George74913
Winston72419
Tishomingo65837
Chickasaw65524
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57817
Hancock56121
Jasper55415
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52314
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45520
Claiborne45216
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41714
Perry40718
Quitman3745
Humphreys37315
Stone35511
Greene34517
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Carroll31212
Amite31110
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2429
Benton2191
Franklin1893
Choctaw1795
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131405

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19015337
Mobile13066289
Montgomery8674173
Madison758375
Tuscaloosa7240114
Lee571359
Shelby568450
Baldwin506149
Marshall383543
Etowah335547
Calhoun333839
Morgan319726
Houston270822
Elmore254947
DeKalb235519
St. Clair223435
Walker222680
Talladega206926
Limestone199519
Cullman184517
Dallas174826
Franklin174328
Russell17132
Autauga169024
Lauderdale164633
Colbert160626
Escambia156225
Blount155114
Jackson150611
Chilton148527
Dale133043
Covington130927
Coffee12778
Pike11559
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113042
Clarke104917
Marion94228
Butler90938
Barbour8357
Winston70912
Marengo69919
Lowndes64827
Pickens63514
Bibb63210
Hale61528
Randolph60812
Bullock58714
Lawrence58520
Monroe5758
Geneva5724
Cherokee56516
Washington54613
Clay5427
Perry5376
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52331
Macon47720
Henry4724
Fayette4219
Sumter41819
Lamar3462
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3236
Greene30015
Coosa1643
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