President Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and build $8 billion in barriers on the border, a big step toward his long-desired wall along the southern border.
Trump’s move, announced in a rambling, improvised address from the Rose Garden shortly after he signed the declaration, will launch a fierce constitutional battle in the courts with lawmakers and outside groups opposed to his decision.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 15, 2019
“I am going to be signing a national emergency,” Trump said after a long introduction to his remarks that touched on trade, China and the caravans of immigrants that Trump made a political issue of ahead of last fall’s midterm elections.
“It’s a great thing to do because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people,” the president said in seeking to justify the need for an emergency declaration.
Trump is separately set to sign legislation approved by Congress that funds the government and prevents a new shutdown set to begin on Saturday.
But that legislation fell far short of his demands for $5.7 billion in wall funding.
Trump plans to redirect $3.6 billion in military construction funding toward the border project. Trump will also take separate executive action repurposing about $2.5 billion from the Defense Department’s drug-interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset-forfeiture fund.
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