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If Trump Declares an Emergency to Build the Wall, Congress Can Block Him – Should They?

Should Congress block Trump if he declares an emergency for wall funding?

by Countable | Updated on 2.11.19

What’s the story?

  • If President Donald Trump declares a national emergency to secure funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, should Congress block him?
  • Trump has threatened for weeks that he’s prepared to declare a national emergency "for the security of the country” if Congress can’t reach a budget resolution.
  • The president has said there’s a “humanitarian and national security crisis” at the border.

How can Trump declare an emergency?

  • The National Emergencies Act of 1976 allows the commander-in-chief to declare an emergency for almost anything.
  • But Congress also gave itself the power to terminate an emergency declaration if both the House and Senate vote to do so.
  • However, the president could then veto their resolution, and it’s unlikely either chamber could reach the two-thirds majority necessary to reverse a veto.

What are both sides saying?

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an ally of the president, has been an ardent supporter of declaring a national emergency.
  • Not all Republicans feel the same way.
"I have real concerns about it, but I'm not gonna start talking about the floor strategy and how I'm going to vote and how the House is going to vote until we get there, and I hope we don't get there," Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) told NPR.
  • "Having gone to Congress repeatedly having not gotten his way with them ... you can't simply throw your hands up and say, 'Ah, you know my commander in chief powers now will be invoked'" to declare an emergency, said Russell Riley, a presidential scholar at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. 

What do you think?

Trump has said he'd consider declaring a national emergency "for the security of the country." Do you support Trump using emergency powers in an effort to secure wall funding? Do you support the RAIDER Act? Take action above, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Screen Grab of State of the Union Address)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(678)
  • Chickie
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    Before becoming a part time resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, #45 led his base in a chant of “Who’s gonna pay for The Wall? México!” He LIED! He is lying now! There is no national emergency at our Southern borders. #45’s racial vitriol in calling asylum seekers criminals, thugs, and ‘bad hombres’, has to be stopped. He is once again using threats and bullying tactics to get his way. When a large majority of Americans are not in favor of an action by the executive office, legislative representatives are to vote according to their constituents. That is why our Forefathers included language to retain the balance of power in our Constitution. It’s time our representatives reacquaint themselves with the laws of our country.

    Like (131)
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  • Loretta
    last Monday
    ···

    As a South Carolina resident, I could not disagree more with The Senators, which means my voice is NEVER heard. But I would challenge them to actually ASK their constituents about their feelings on all the actual issues they should be working on...No Wall...Work on Infrastructure ...Lower drug prices, work toward Medical Care for all...IMPEACH So many more important things than the empty wall promise

    Like (62)
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  • TSMR3
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    We need a wall. The Democrats do not care about it's price, they just want the votes that illegal immigration brings with it. My friend was killed by an illegal immigrant who was part of a gang, he should never have been here. This needs to happen to stop innocent Americans from dying. Support this now.

    Like (41)
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  • NoHedges
    Voted Maybe
    last Monday
    ···

    I really don’t care anymore. We have spent triple in shutdowns and the damn thing can always be torn down. People are dying from poverty, we have highest childhood mortality rate among our world peers, 1 out of 10 young adults are homeless, seniors cannot afford medications because there isn’t enough money going into social security, and you all have spent the last two and half years arguing over a damn wall.

    Like (33)
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  • Karyns303
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    Stop wasting taxpayer money. Stop the game of smoke and mirrors. Start working for this country. A wall will get you nowhere. Try understanding the historical roots to the immigration ‘problem’. Work on that. Quit pouring money into a useless project just to continue the fear-mongering and divisiveness.

    Like (60)
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  • JTJ
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    10 years ago The dems supported the wall, now they obstruct because they hate Trump more than they care about security. Party of hypocrisy.

    Like (37)
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  • J
    last Monday
    ···

    Trump MUST declare an emergency and build the wall. Congress should not stop the wall unless there is evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that nobody is illegally crossing the boarder (not a single person). Other than concrete proof that illegal immigration has stopped, Congress should support the wall. In the past, Pelosi, Schumer, Obama, Clinton & Biden have all voted in favor of border walls. (Check their voting records - although you Dems are probably afraid of what you will find out if you look at all the initiative that they supported) The Democrats are putting votes from illegal immigrants and their supporters ahead of our national security as a political lever. Declare the emergency and get it done!

    Like (17)
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  • Rad
    Voted Maybe
    last Monday
    ···

    Hopefully they can stop him $5 billion waste of money they will go over the wall under the wall through the wall waste of money

    Like (11)
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  • Dane
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    This is textbook abuse of power. There is no sufficient public support for the wall and the bodies of power that must agree to do so have not agreed. Discount the fact that the border wall addresses none of the actual issues at the border, alienates our allies, and is antithetical to our history as a nation of immigrants. There is no credible information that supports that there is an emergency at our border. Even our town on the border don't want this.

    Like (47)
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  • Karynn
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    Abuse of power for a fictional problem. Absolutely it should be blocked.

    Like (29)
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  • Nancy
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    The true emergency is climate change and healthcare

    Like (28)
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  • Tony
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    This wall fight is insanity. The previous 5 presidents said we need to take care of the border problem. A majority of the democrats have admitted there is an issue we need to take care of on the boarder until Trump got serious about it. This fight now is a vote against Trump and people who voted for him, not a vote made out of any common sense. I cannot believe anyone can seriously think there is not a danger with people coming illegally into the USA by walking, driving or flying over the border, or over-staying visas. Funds must be allocated to close these entries, but we should not have another government shutdown over this. Use the emergency action and let's fix the border problem and get on with our other problems.

    Like (22)
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  • PLD
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    Experts deny the effectiveness of the wall as a be-all solution and the majority of Americans are AGAINST such fiscal waste. Furthermore, such a shallow use of executive power is abuse that should be limited. Enough of Trump’s unrestricted abuse of power must now face the Congressional Oversight established in the US Constitution.

    Like (21)
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  • Robert
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    The Wall will cost multiples of 5 BN. and accomplish nothing else but being a monument of idiocy.

    Like (20)
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  • Lexpost
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    It’s not an emergency just because you can’t get Congress to fund your priorities.

    Like (20)
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  • Chris
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    There is no emergency. There has been no emergency. They had two years and did nothing, and when the Democrats take the House, suddenly Trump loses his mind and the GOP follows him. Look at the statistics- there is no emergency.

    Like (19)
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  • J. scott
    Voted Yes
    last Tuesday
    ···

    Absolutely if Trump declares an emergency Congress should block him he’s running things like a madman and a dictator. I’m reminded of what he said about NFL players kneeling during the anthem. Something like don’t you just hate seeing that..., get that SOB outta there. You’re Fired 🔥. I believe the same applies exactly to him he’s an embarrassment and a laughing stock to our nation and clearly profoundly beyond his depth. Oh, and if that’s not enough he’s looking more like a Traitor every day.

    Like (18)
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  • Emily
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    The President knows what he is doing and has research to back up his southern border project. If he didn’t then his advisors would have stopped him long ago. Congress cannot stop Trump from doing what will benefit America.

    Like (18)
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  • AnonymousPatron
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    The extra “wall” at the El Paso border was Not even necessary. I’ve read about this waste of Our money from several Journalist sources that include Border Patrol agents. #45 is again making a lame attempt to prove that what he personally thinks is “reality”...it’s Not.

    Like (18)
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  • William
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    Congress should block wall if the president uses emergency power.

    Like (16)
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  • Sassy
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    If he wants this that bad he needs to pay for it,

    Like (15)
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