Schumer Scolds Trump: ‘Hopefully, Now the President Has Learned His Lesson’

Senate minority leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reacted with glee to the deal struck with President Donald Trump that will temporarily end the partial shutdown of the federal government without funding the border wall.

Trump's decision has left many bewildered. Most expected this toe-to-toe battle with Pelosi to end with a knockout punch, however, Trump may be playing for a technical knockout – he simply wants to get the wall built.

Declaring a national emergency is certainly possible, but faces uncertain legal battles.

So does the president have the authority to declare a national emergency and direct resources to the border?

“Trump can surely test whether he has the power to declare a national emergency for this purpose,” said Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor at Princeton University's Center for Human Values. “The National Emergencies Act allows him to declare a state of emergency without approval from anyone else, but then he has to stay within congressionally delegated emergency powers after that.”

The 1976 National Emergencies Act was passed in the post-Watergate, post-Vietnam era to create more structured procedures for the president's use of emergency powers.

Under that law, the president must cite the specific emergency powers he is activating under existing statutes. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are hundreds of “provisions of federal law delegating to the executive extraordinary authority in time of national emergency.”

In the face of the uncertainty of declaring a state of emergency, President Trump decided to first battle it out with a government shutdown, that hasn't worked. Now, he is simply shifting gears. Democrats know that he will likely declare a state of emergency in 3 weeks to get the wall built and that all their fighting and posturing would be for naught if they don't come to a compromise.

Feeling like they have won the battle with Trump's agreement to reopen the government, will they be more open to reaching an agreement because they will not completely lose face? Or, will they damn everything and refuse to give an inch, forcing Trump to declare a national emergency? It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Source: USA Today


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  1. Linda Whitcomb

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