The following was originally written for and published by Revolution Now Magazine.
In a speech at the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump invoked his ability to declare a national emergency in an effort to secure funding for his southern border wall. In his remarks, the President called the declaration a “great thing to do,” saying that the reason behind his decision was “an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”
After a 35-day shutdown over wall funding disputes, and a bill that reopened the government temporarily, lawmakers were able to agree on a spending bill that will provide funding for the government through October of this year.
The spending bill, which was passed by Congress, included $1.375 billion for border security, was a far cry from the $5.7 billion demanded by the president late last year. Trump’s declaration on Friday is expected to free up an estimated $8 billion in funds for the wall.
The fallout caused by Trump’s declaration is starting to be felt around Washington. Several states, including New York and California, a group of Texas landowners, and the American Civil Liberties Union announced that they had filed a suit claiming that Trump’s effort to circumvent Congress is unconstitutional and violates the system of checks and balances. The House Judiciary Committee, led by Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), also announced Friday that it would be launching an investigation into the emergency claim. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement immediately following the President’s remarks in the Rose Garden, calling the move a “power grab by a disappointed president.” Within the GOP, this decision has sparked a divide. While most Republicans support Trump’s decision, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly urged the president to find another way, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio stated that “no crisis justifies violating the Constitution.”
With another government shutdown narrowly averted, the next phase of the border battle is just beginning.