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Did Trump Give Democrats Ammunition to Block His Emergency Declaration?

02-18-2019
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Democrats are preparing a full-court press against President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency along the US border with Mexico. Since the president made the declaration Friday, opponents in Congress and the states are lining up to fight Trump's effort to fund the border wall.

President Trump is trying to fund the border wall with Defense and Treasury Department funds, but it's not going to happen without a fight.

Democrats are lining up to oppose the president's emergency declaration from multiple lawsuits to resolutions in both houses of Congress.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said on ABC's "This Week", "I think there's enough people in the Senate who are concerned that what he's doing is robbing from the military and the DOD to go and build this wall." 

And Democrats are pointing at a particular comment the president made from the White House Friday, arguing it's evidence that this isn't a real emergency. "I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster," Trump said.

Resolutions terminating the emergency declaration could pass the House and Senate, given the number of Republicans who also oppose the declaration. But key staffers say the president would certainly veto the move, and that veto would stand because there aren't enough votes to override it. 

"He's going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed," said Stephen Miller, senior White House policy adviser, on "Fox News Sunday".

Even supporters who agree there needs to be a wall say it won't be easy.

"This is gonna be a slow process; it's gonna go to the courts," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said. "But better to start that process so that we can ultimately get there than to not start it at all."

California and other states are planning to sue in federal court, along with the ACLU.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, "He himself said it, he did not need to announce or declare a crisis. He did not have to call this an emergency." 

As for the funding coming from the national defense, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters he's not sure the wall is a "military necessity" or how much funding the Pentagon would give toward it.

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