Trump to Get Up to $8 Billion for Border Wall Using Emergency Powers

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
February 15, 2019Politicsshare
Trump to Get Up to $8 Billion for Border Wall Using Emergency Powers
President Donald Trump speaks to the nation in his first-prime address from the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 8, 2019. (Carlos Barria-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will secure up to $8 billion in funds for wall construction after signing a spending bill and declaring a national emergency on the southwest border, Treasury Secretary Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Feb. 14.

The spending bill includes $1.375 billion for border wall construction, far less than the $5.7 billion Trump demanded from Congress last year based on requests from experts at the Department of Homeland Security. The White House is prepared to transfer an additional $6.6 billion from the Defense and Treasury departments using the national emergency declaration.

According to Mulvaney, the emergency funds would include $600 million from the Treasury Department, $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense, and $3.5 billion from the military construction budget.

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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney arrives for the State of the Union address at the Capitol in Washington, on Feb. 5, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

When Trump temporarily reopened the government three weeks ago, he promised that he would use the executive powers at his disposal to secure funds for a border wall if Congress failed to do so by Feb. 15. The White House announced on Feb. 14 that the president intended to sign the spending bill and declare a national emergency on the southwest border.

“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action—including a national emergency—to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”

Shortly after the announcement, the Senate passed the spending bill by a vote of 83-16. The House passed the measure on a partisan vote of 231-180.

Sanders said that the administration was prepared for a legal challenge to the executive order.

“We’re very prepared, but there shouldn’t be [legal challenges]. The president’s doing his job. Congress should do theirs,” Sanders said.

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A section of the reinforced US-Mexico border fence is seen from Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on Feb. 14, 2019. (Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images)

Since taking office, Trump has demanded that Congress fund construction of a wall on the southern border, his landmark campaign promise. Democrats, whose votes are needed to reach a 60-vote threshold in the Senate, have thwarted all attempts. Last year, the president followed through on a promise and refused to sign a spending bill that did not include funds for a border wall. As a result, Congress missed a deadline to fund the government, triggering a partial shutdown in December last year. The shutdown stretched on for 35 days, the longest on record.

On average, approximately 2,000 illegal aliens enter the United States on a daily basis, according to the White House. Many of those who enter have criminal histories or are gang members. Cartels are taking advantage of the porous border to smuggle vast amounts of drugs into the country, contributing to an already devastating opioid crisis. Meanwhile, some 10,000 children are trafficked across the border every year to be sold as sex slaves.

As of Feb. 15, there were 31 national emergencies in effect in the United States on issues like drug trafficking, terrorism, and cybercrime. Trump declared three of the emergencies. The president issued the first national emergency in December 2017, targeting perpetrators of human rights abuses and corruption. Trump issued his second national emergency in September last year, allowing for sanctions against those who interfere in U.S. elections. He declared a third national emergency in November 2018, addressing human rights abuses and corruption in Nicaragua.

From The Epoch Times

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