WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump and border security (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he’ll be declaring a national emergency so he can build a southern border wall.
Trump did not say on Friday when he would make such a declaration, but the move will allow him to bypass Congress to spend more money to erect barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Congress has given Trump about $1.4 billion for border barriers, well below the $5.7 billion Trump has insisted he needed to build a wall.
To get around Congress, Trump plans to use his executive authority to tap other sources of funding to get a total of $8 billion to build the wall. The White House says Trump plans to tap accounts in the Treasury and Defense departments, but not money earmarked for disaster relief.
Add the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the groups opposing a national emergency declaration by President Donald Trump to free up budget funds to build his Southwest border wall.
The business organization’s stance is not a total surprise. It’s opposed Trump administration efforts to restrict legal immigration and to make it harder for young “Dreamer” immigrants to stay in the U.S.
Still, the chamber usually leans Republican. Its opposition Friday is the latest example of how word of an emergency declaration is splitting the GOP and its constituencies.
Trump plans to sign bipartisan legislation providing nearly $1.4 billion to build border barriers, but that fell short of the $5.7 billion he wanted.
Trump is expected to invoke executive powers to access another $6.6 billion. He says he’ll sign a national emergency. That’s expected to prompt lawsuits and challenges in Congress.
President Donald Trump plans to spend about $8 billion on border barriers, far more than Congress has given him for that purpose.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says Trump will tap various other sources of money beyond the nearly $1.4 billion in a government funding bill that Congress passed. Trump is expected to sign the bill.
Besides the money from Congress, Mulvaney said Friday that Trump plans to spend $600 million in Treasury forfeiture funds and $2.5 billion in Defense Department counterdrug money. Trump is also tapping about $3.6 billion worth of funds set aside for military construction projects.
Mulvaney says Trump is not tapping disaster relief money designated to help Texas and Puerto Rico following recent devastating hurricanes. (There is also concern from Florida officials he would use money for disaster aid that would go to Hurricane Michael. So far Congress has not passed a relief package that includes money for those areas affected by last year’s storm, though it is anticipated they will at some point.)
Congress has lopsidedly approved a border security compromise that would avert a second painful government shutdown.
But a new confrontation has been ignited. President Donald Trump’s plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a national emergency to siphon billions from other federal coffers for his wall on the Mexican boundary is certain to be challenged.
Money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted. The White House said he’d sign the legislation passed Thursday but act unilaterally to get more. That prompted condemnations from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money or said Trump was abusing his authority.