The National Emergency

Aubrie Hickmon, Editor-In-Chief

In the midst of President Trump’s attempt to build his wall, he will be making a new request from Congress. In what Fox News has called a “tough request,” Trump will ask for $8.6 billion to be added to the 2020 budget to fund the building of the wall. In addition to that amount, he will ask for an additional $3.6 billion “ to replenish military construction funds he has diverted to begin work on the wall by declaring a national emergency, for a total of $12.2 billion,” said the New York Times.

This request is not likely to be passed by Democrats in Congress. While Trump has made it one of his top priorities to build the wall, the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives has made it their goal to block the president’s immigration policies.

Since Trump began campaigning for the presidency, one of his promises has been to build his border wall. After multiple attempts to get funding for the wall, he declared a national state of emergency on February 15, 2019. This occurred after the 35-day government shutdown that had been declared because Congress did not approve Trump’s request for $5 billion for funding for the wall. He agreed to reopen the government for a three-week period in order to come to a compromise. Since a compromise was not met, a state of national emergency was declared.

According to the New York Times, the national emergency was declared on the grounds that “the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants from Mexico constituted a profound threat to national security that justified unilateral action.” But, debate immediately sparked over why it was really declared. Some took his side while many, even Republicans in Congress, condemned him for doing it simply because he did not get the funding he wanted. Declaring an emergency gave the president access to funds for the wall from the Treasury and Defense departments, allowing him to find a way around the denial from Congress.

The House and the Senate both quickly passed a resolution to block the declaration on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. The very next day after the bill was passed by the Senate, Trump vetoed it, saying, “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.” House Democrats announced soon after that they would attempt to override the presidential veto with an override vote on March 26, confident they would have the support from Democrats and Republicans alike. However, the 14 Republican votes in favor of the override were not enough. With a 248-181 vote, Congress did not secure the two-thirds vote needed to be successful.

As both sides refuse to concede in this battle for the border wall funding, a clear solution or end to this issue anytime soon appears unlikely.