Trump Expected to Declare National Emergency, According to Lindsey Graham
The day after a bipartisan deal to keep the government open was announced in Congress — one that wouldn’t give President Donald Trump the nearly $6 billion in appropriations he was asking for a border wall — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) suggested that the president would soon use emergency powers to force the construction of the wall.
Graham’s assessment was revealed by USA Today politics reporter Eliza Collins, who wrote that the senator expected the president to make the announcement.
Graham said that “even if Trump signs the deal, he expects him to both declare a national emergency and try to find money elsewhere in order to bridge the gap between $1.375 in the Congressional deal and the $5.7 billion he’s demanded for his wall,” Collins wrote in her tweet.
.@LindseyGrahamSC says even if Trump signs the deal, he expects him to both declare a national emergency and try to find money elsewhere in order to bridge the gap between $1.375 in the Congressional deal and the $5.7 billion he's demanded for his wall.
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) February 12, 2019
Graham stated earlier in the month that he was pushing for Trump to use emergency powers to build the wall, a move that would bypass Congress to do so.
“The best way to do this, if we can’t get a deal with Congress, is for the president to take money that’s already appropriated for national security, unobligated, and apply it to a border barrier,” Graham said, per reporting from Raw Story.
Some are apprehensive about the idea of the president using emergency powers to push forward policy that isn’t necessarily an emergency. When the idea was discussed in early January, many lawmakers, including some Republicans, said it would create a slippery slope, wherein future presidents could use the same powers, ignoring the will of Congress if it deemed those policies improper.
“I think its a bad precedent and it contravenes the power of the purse that comes from the elected representatives of the people,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said at the time, per reporting from Time magazine.