President Trump’s Planned Use of Emergency Powers to Fund Border Wall

February 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

On Friday, February 15 President Trump announced that he will declare a national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico, using money from other federal accounts, after Congress declined to authorize sufficient funds to satisfy him in legislation that averts another government shutdown.  Since then on Monday February 18, a coalition of 16 states, including California and New York, have challenged President Trump in court over his plan to use emergency powers to spend billions of dollars on his border wall.

President Trump has changed his rhetoric on the wall after the government shutdown has ended. At first, he admitted that he used talk of the wall as a tactic to keep people from leaving his rallies. “If it gets a little boring, if I see people starting to sort of, maybe thinking about leaving, I can sort of tell the audience, I just say, ‘We will build the wall!’ and they go nuts”, Trump told New York Times editors. During his candidacy, Trump often discussed how Mexico would be responsible for paying for the wall at the border. However, after realizing this idea was getting him nowhere with Congress, he decided to start the government shut down and demand $5.7 billion in funding.

During the government shutdown, Trump began to ease his wording. His speeches quickly went from “wall”, to “barrier” or “whatever you want to call it” in hopes of persuading Congress. On January 25th, President Trump temporarily reopened the government until February 15th to work out a deal with Congress that involved his funding.

If Trump were to get his funding, he will have to deal with expensive repercussions similar to the 2006 Secure Fence Act. The government utilized its eminent domain power along the border, taking 128 miles worth of land from Texas citizens. 13 years later, court cases are still being resolved and the government has paid massive amounts of money to the previous land owners, including one man who received $5 million for 6 acres.

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