Trump Declares National Emergency
On Friday morning, February 15th, President Donald Trump signed a multi-billion-dollar spending bill to avoid another government shutdown, which secured federal employees a 1.9 percent pay raise and finalizes all government spending through Sept 30.
The spending bill that’s been passed has roughly $24 billion in it, $22.5 billion of which goes to Homeland Security and $1.4 billion for a 55-mile-long physical barrier along the southern border, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
After signing the spending bill President Trump then declared a national emergency at the southern border to get even more funding for the wall.
The president said in a press conference that he is planning on pulling money from different departments of the government. $1.375 billion will come from the spending bill Congress passed Thursday, $600 million from the Treasury Department’s drug forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion from the Pentagon’s drug interdiction program, and through an emergency declaration, $3.5 billion from the Pentagon’s military construction budget.
“I could do the wall over a longer period of time,” Trump said. “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”
The president’s decision to declare this national emergency has sparked controversy and questions of its legality.
Protests planned across US on Presidents Day in response to Trump’s national emergency for border wall https://t.co/MDK3udo1eb
— BMac (@deskspud) February 17, 2019
Dr. Louis Furmanski, UCO Professor and Chair of Department of Political Science, does not agree with the president’s decision and finds it unconstitutional.
“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,” Dr. Furmanski quoted from the constitution. “What Trump is doing undermines the constitutional powers of Congress. So, yes, I regard what Trump has done as being unconstitutional, and thus an impeachable offense. ”
On the other side of the coin there are people that are defending the president’s decision. Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller defended President Trump’s national emergency declaration.
“If the president can’t defend this country, then he cannot fulfill his constitutional oath of office,” Miller said. “This would not be even an issue if the president was invoking that statute to support some foreign adventure overseas.”
Local citizen of Oklahoma, Kade McAlvain, a wind turbine technician, said he is torn at the situation that the president has made.
“The two main jobs our federal government has is to abide by the constitution and protect our borders,” McAlvain said. ” What the president has done here is protecting our borders, but it’s potentially unconstitutional. I don’t want the next president coming in thinking they can declare national emergencies just to pass laws that they personally see fit.”