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Trump Declares National Emergency to Access $3.6B for Border Wall

Do you support declaring a national emergency to fund a wall?

by Axios | Updated on 2.15.19

During today's Rose Garden announcement, President Trump laid out the administration’s plans to free up roughly $8 billion to be put toward building a wall on the southern border, $3.6 billion of which will be accessed through the declaration of a national emergency.

By the numbers: On a call with reporters Friday morning, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced the breakdown of those funds.


  • From Congress: $1.375 billion will come from the budget deal that both chambers of Congress passed on Thursday and Trump is expected to sign into law “later today or tomorrow.”
  • Through executive action: Roughly $600 million will be pulled from the Treasury’s drug forfeiture fund, and $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense’s drug interdiction program.
  • From a national emergency declaration: Trump will declare a national emergency to free up about $3.6 billion from the DoD’s military construction fund.

Mulvaney noted that no money is being pulled from the Texas disaster relief fund to build the wall.

Worth noting: $8 billion is more than the $5.7 billion Trump initially demanded from Democrats. A senior administration official said that they are freeing up an extra $2.3 billion to ensure that they have enough money to build the wall.

How it's playing: Trump's decision to invoke his emergency powers has drawn backlash from both Democrats and some Republicans who are concerned about the precedent it could set for future administrations.

What's next: The $3.6 billion being accessed through the emergency declaration will likely be challenged by the courts.

Go deeper: Why Trump is declaring an emergency

Axios

Written by Axios

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(230)
  • Robert
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Congress should overturn Trump’s sham national emergency and stop him from seizing 8 billion dollars of unappropriated funds to use for his wall that Congress did not approve. Do your job. Stop this incompetent lunatic from usurping your authority.

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  • Michele
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Somebody please jail this clown! National emergency? First. The wall is not needed and will NOT address the racist claims he makes about the need for the wall. Second. He has waited a couple of months (more like 2 years) to declare the emergency, which is contradictory to the whole concept of an emergency. This is clearly political. A waste of money. And an abuse of power. Face it president Chump. You are a lousy negotiator, albeit a pretty good bully. Jail this moron who thinks he’s king. And all the members of his court too!

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  • Carol
    Voted Support
    02/15/2019
    ···

    What other choice does he have?? THank God He Is Our President!!! Vote the Obstructionist Dems out of office & I mean all of them....

    Like (13)
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  • Dave
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Let the lawsuit, impeachment, Indictment and jail time begin! If you notice he tied his emergency to Obama state of emergency on drugs and drug Cartels dealings, which is working. He did this to try to protect his 2020 political Agenda. The house and senate can undo this, but republicans and R-KY Mitch McConnell will not. This is abuse of power by both! The only major national emergency this country has is the president and Mitch McConnell are idiots.

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  • JTJ
    Voted Support
    02/15/2019
    ···

    It will be tough for the dems to fight this in court when they all supported it just a few years ago. Hypocrites.

    Like (9)
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  • Lynea
    02/15/2019
    ···

    The only emergency at the border is Trump’s stupid policies

    Like (5)
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  • Laurie
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    To declare a national emergency when none exists, and use it as a way to funnel money into a project that a majority oppose while diverting funds that have already been allocated elsewhere, is an incredible overreach of presidential power. This action should not be tolerated by ANY lawmaker in Congress.

    Like (26)
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  • Brandon
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Trump LITERALLY said in his announcement "I didn't need to do this, but I wanted to do it faster." Sounds like a real emergency. He's just upset that congress didn't give him what he wanted so now he's trying to circumvent them and ignore the constitution. Power grab by a weak, ineffective president.

    Like (23)
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  • Myvoiceisyouth
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    This should be illegal. If Congress or the Courts do not step in, this is setting a precedent for all future leaders. No matter Democrat or Republican, no one should have this kind of power unless it is an actual emergency. A border wall is not.

    Like (21)
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  • Max
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Declaring a national emergency over nothing is a despicable act of unconstitutional power grabbing. I urge you to move forward with proceedings to impeach Trump and prevent this overreach.

    Like (21)
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  • burrkitty
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    I hope President Donald Trump and his short-sighted supporters have been enjoying the fun. By now, we’ve all become numb, alarmingly so, to the nutty ideas the president of the United States has floated or in some cases enacted to undermine the basic norms of our democratic institutions: firing FBI personnel on various pretexts, discounting election results he doesn’t like, befriending vicious dictators, claiming judges are biased based on their ethnicity, alleging massive voter fraud without evidence, ignoring intelligence findings he doesn’t agree with, and on and on and on. But as bizarre and dangerous as these have been, his plan to declare a national emergency is by far the absolute worst. Shame on any “conservative” who rolls their eyes, shrugs their shoulders and lets him take this path because they are sick of arguing with him. (You know who you are.) This is going to backfire on them in a major way—and the tragedy is that every one of them knows this. The core of conservatism has always been a distrust of a powerful national government and the necessity of imposing restraints on it. That’s out the window now, like nearly every other tenet that held the movement together. I used to laugh when my more progressive friends warned me that Trump wanted to turn America into a third-world banana republic. He’d never pull that off, I’d tell them. The Constitution will stop him. Members of Congress will stop him. The GOP will stop him. Now I’m the one who is the fool. I’ve tried very hard to restrain myself from frantic pronouncements, but this national emergency declaration is the closest my friends have ever come to seeing their worst fears realized. Is there any other way to see it? The notion that a president of the United States can simply circumvent the national legislature out of pique, declare something that has been going on for years as an “emergency,” and then implement policies our elected representatives did not vote for, allocate money for, or in any other way authorize is totally antithetical to representative democracy and the checks and balances system. If Trump is correct constitutionally, which he isn’t, then what did the Founders create a Congress for in the first place? I’d like to think that the Supreme Court will call a stop to this nonsense in a 9-0 decision, as they did in 1974 when they forced the Executive Branch to turn over tapes of President Richard Nixon’s private conversations to Congress. Unfortunately, I’ve lost so much faith in conservatives’ ability to draw any red line against Trump that I find it easy to believe that the conservative majority of the court will go along with this anyway. As a result, Congress will no longer matter. As a result, the Supreme Court will no longer matter, either. You would think that a president of the United States would care about the long-term threats his actions might have on our democracy. But obviously Trump—a man who reportedly said that amassing more crippling debt doesn’t matter because he’ll be out of office when we have to deal with it—doesn’t care about any of this. Obviously the Republican Congress is too scared of their own voters to care about that. But here’s what they should care about: They are making their most vivid, frenzied nightmare come true. For a decade now, the right has warned about a progressive “dictator” like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton forcing the United States to pursue policies that the majority does not want. Now they are making it so much easier for the next president to do exactly that. Shortly after learning of Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to build his beloved border wall, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said a left-wing president might just as well declare an emergency to impose any policies they want, too. As Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Gun violence is an emergency. Climate change is an emergency. Our country's opioid epidemic is an emergency.” You see where this is headed? Stupid stupid stupid. This is well beyond cutting off your nose to spite your face. This is cutting off your head to spite your toes.

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  • PGreenberger
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Does anyone really believe there is an emergency at the border? I can think of 5 other issues which better qualify as emergencies facing our nation and the world.

    Like (20)
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  • Chickie
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    #45 didn’t get his way with funding his Wall. #45 signs a National Emergency in order to bypass Congress to get what he wants. His constant selfishness places his wants, however terrible, above those of the country. This morning, at his part time residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, #45 held a press conference where he spouted one lie after the other regarding statistics, money, border numbers, etc. #45 has caused his racism to rule all decisions regarded border security. His hate for a suffering people is to create fear and distrust that includes all peoples of color, for all people who speak with accents, for all people who have a religious faith that he doesn’t understand. He has stomped on the foundation created by our Forefathers. He has kicked aside any progress on civil rights. #45 has set the bar so low on tolerance, that Americans are incredibly divided and miles apart; we are no longer one nation. We are a divided nation. I expect my representatives to block #45’s National Emergency bill. There is NO NATIONAL EMERGENCY AT OUR SOUTHERN BORDERS! The true National Emergency is the dire condition of our government, our environment and most importantly, the divisiveness in our country all because of #45.

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  • Christine
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    I am very concerned about this abuse of presidential power and support any steps that congress can take to not only stop this wall from being built but also to show the country that our checks and balance system can function effectively. There is no national emergency here, it is not OK to pretend there is.

    Like (19)
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  • Maximian
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    What's the point in negotiating if one side is just going to go around the other by hitting a button that's designed for use times of war or mass destruction? It ruins the idea of cooperation and compromise for the good of the people by simply saying "I don't have to play with the same rules as everyone else." I expect my representatives to vote to negate the SoE declaration.

    Like (17)
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  • Kari
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    This is not how the government works. He needs to respect the political process, or resign.

    Like (15)
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  • Marshall
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Seems to me Democratic process is being put aside. No person should be able to do that.

    Like (14)
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  • M
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Please speak for your constituents-we are opposed to putting a wall up when we have the technology to build our borders stronger and better than ever- money should be spent to increase our security, but not with a steel barrier.

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  • Laura
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    If “the wall” was such an emergency, then it should have been declared an emergency 2 years ago. Also, the shut down and the subsequent congressional agreements to reopen were merely a farce to 45. Stop placating to 45s games: he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, money and dictators.

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  • Nick
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    Let’s see, Trump employed illegal immigrants for the last 40 years but now we have a crisis at the border? The real crisis in this country is a President totally unfit for the job with no care about our Constitution.

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  • Trudy
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    A president should not be able to declare a state of national emergency, just because he didn't get the funding that he wanted. What's next? Any time a President doesn't get what he/she wants, the President can declare a National emergency and steal money that has already been dedicated to other projects. That's absurd and heading down a slippery slope!

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  • Tinee
    Voted Oppose
    02/15/2019
    ···

    There is no emergency. Trump is doing this to try to force the US to pay for his wall. You know the one he promised Mexico would pay for.

    Like (10)
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