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The last national emergency that was declared was over the 9/11 attacks. Before that, the President declared a national emergency over the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now we are in a state of national emergency in order to build President Trump’s wall.
Congress refused to appropriate money to build President Trump’s promised wall on the border between the United States and Mexico even when both houses of the legislature were under Republican control. Now that the House of Representatives is in the hand of the Democrats there seemed to be little chance of getting a wall approved. A standoff on the issue led to a government shutdown, and a number of Trump’s supporters reviled him for “caving” on his promise when he signed a temporary appropriation bill without getting a wall in return. Once that temporary measure expired, it looked like the government might shut down again, but a compromise was struck in which Democrats did give him $1.375 billion for physical barriers, far short of the $5 billion he requested.
President - Victory - Spending - Bill - Government
But now the President got his victory. After signing the spending bill keeping the government open and pocketing the $1.375 billion for his project, President Trump declared a national emergency, which gives him the ability to tap other money by the assertion of executive power. By taking $600 million from the Treasury Department’s drug forfeiture money, $2.5 billion from the Pentagon’s drug interdiction money, and $3.5 billion from the Pentagon’s military construction money, he will have some $8 billion for the wall, significantly more than the $5 billion he asked for in the beginning!
So give President Trump credit for his tactics. But his victory has other costs beyond the dollars for the wall. If a President can use executive power to get what he wants when Congress says “no,” what does that...
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