The National Emergency

On February 15, 2019, in the Rose Garden at the White House, President Donald Trump addressed the American people, announcing a national state of emergency. He says that the “crisis” at the southern border and Congress refusing to fund a $5.7 billion wall are the focal points behind this problem. A state of emergency is usually declared for some sort of disaster that impacts a large group of the American population. Regardless, this will allow Trump to find loopholes to gather federal money to build a wall. But is Trump really constitutionally going to get away with this? Congress has given this power to past presidents, but under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, Congress has the ability to overrule a national emergency declaration. To do this, Congress either has to create a joint resolution with the President’s signature or a have 2/3 vote majority. Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Ron Johnson (R) of Wisconsin, states that he understands the frustration that is arising. He tells the American people that he will hear everything the President has to say, and his plan on how to get and spend the money. Johnson further assured the nation that he won’t agree to anything if he sees failure in President Trump’s plan. This declaration has caused a divide in the Republican Party. Many Republicans have begun criticizing the President’s last resort of calling for a state of emergency for the money. The safety at America’s southern border is, no doubt, a huge national issue, but what the next steps should be is where leaders are disagreeing. Should the wall be built or should some other sort of immigration reform be considered?

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