Trump, who has built a solid border wall, now looks at the Pentagon, a gold medalist.
According to two sources, the Trump Administration is preparing to declare a state of emergency recently. It intends to use the U.S. Army Corps of Engineersbudget of $13.9 billion for disaster prevention to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.
Earlier, Trump and Congressional Democrats had a deadlock over a $5.7 billion wall-building budget, which led to the partial closure of the federal government for 20 days. During the negotiations with Democrats on Wednesday, Trump once left the room angrily and warned repeatedly that he had the power to declare a state of emergency and bypass the building of a wall in Congress.
The 36th U.S. Army Corps of Engineers laid barbed wire on the Arizona-Mexico border on December 1 last year.
According to an article in the Washington Post on January 10, two sources familiar with the situation said the Trump administration was looking at the budget of the Army Corps of Engineers. Last year, Congress passed a bill to provide it with a disaster relief budget of 13.9 billion US dollars (about 93.8 billion RMB), of which some of the money for civil engineering construction has not yet been used.
According to its official website, the US Army Corps of Engineers was first established in 1775. Today, about 37,000 soldiers and civilians are deployed in 43 countries around the world and have projects in 132 countries. Its main task is to work with partners to provide critical engineering solutions for national security, economic development and disaster relief in the United States.
In the United States, in addition to providing engineering construction for the U.S. military, the Force also provides tasks for civilian areas such as dredging rivers, navigation, flood relief, water resources and coastal protection, and construction of water conservancy projects.
It is reported that the $13.9 billion budget was originally used to build dozens of flood control projects, mainly for the Texas coastline and parts of Puerto Rico recently affected by typhoons Harvey and Maria.
An anonymous source said Trump had asked the Army Corps of Engineers how long it would take to sign a contract to build the border wall and whether it could be completed in 45 days. The force upgraded and maintained the border fence between the United States and Mexico in 1994.
In addition, the Trump administration is also studying the use of US military self-use projects and unused budgets, which may still have billions of dollars.
In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Trump said he would almost certainly declare a state of emergency if he could not reach an agreement with Congress.
Actually, Im going to say Im going to do it. I cant think of any reason not to do it, because I can do it. The law is 100% on my side, Trump said in an interview.
Trump visited Texass McCullen border area on January 10 and said the law allows him to declare a state of emergency: Visual China
U.S. media Politico said that Trump took White House lawyer Pat Cipollone with him during his day trip to the U.S. -Mexico border in Texas on Thursday. The move sent a strong signal that White House legal advisers had begun to seriously consider the legal feasibility of Trumps declaration of a state of emergency.
According to the 1976 State of Emergency Act, the President of the United States has the power to declare a state of emergency, thereby gaining powers such as confiscation of property, convening the National Guard, appointing and dismissing officers. Under U.S. law, overthrowing the Presidents order requires approval by both houses of Congress and then handed over to the President himself for signature.
Since 1976, successive presidents of the United States have declared 58 states of emergency, many of which have continued to this day. For example, President George W. Bushs state of emergency decree issued after the September 11 incident has been postponed many times by Barack Obama and served as the legal basis for his war on terrorism.
However, when asked when the announcement would be made, Trump still threw the ball to Congress, saying it would depend on the negotiations there.
Republican attitudes split
According to the Washington Post, many people, including Republicans on the House Military Committee, have expressed dissatisfaction with Trumps intention to use the military budget to build a wall. And conservative Republicans say Trumps move is reminiscent of former President Barack Obama who used executive power to bypass Congress for the Medicare bill.
Mike Simpson, a Republican congressman from Idaho, said, I dont understand why they are studying this. I dont like the idea of drawing money from the National Defense Construction and Army Engineering Corps. Its not the best policy.
Asked if he would support Trumps use of national security powers to build a wall, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, simply refused: No.
However, there are still Republican lawmakers who support Trumps use of emergency power to build a wall.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said in a statement Thursday, Its time for President Trump to use his emergency powers to fund the border wall / barrier.
It is reported that Graham convened some Republican senators on Wednesday afternoon to work out a compromise plan that would allow the federal government to re-open the border wall and inject capital into it; at the same time, he also gave a green light to the Democratic Partys Childhood Immigrants Suspension Repatriation Procedure Act (DACA). But Vice President Burns vetoed the plan Thursday on behalf of Trump.
Graham, who appeared very depressed afterwards, said that he has never been so frustrated with future progress as he is now, and shortly afterwards issued a statement in support of Trump.
I hope that works, he said.
Douglas Collins, a Republican congressman from Georgia, also said, This decision is absolutely legitimate, but he said, I hope we dont have to go that far.
Democrats are happy to see it happen
Congressional Democrats are unshakable in their negotiating positions, and some are even happy to see it happen, arguing that Trumps declaration of a state of emergency would tear apart unity within the Republican Party.
At Thursdays press conference, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, When the president does that, you will see our response.
Katie Hill, a California Democrat, said, Im actually happy because this will be vetoed by the courts, and we can end the closure of the government.
A Democratic aide argued that a state of emergency meant gracefully getting out of this mess. Trump and the Republicans had an account with their supporters, and the Democrats could continue to boycott projects in court.
According to the Washington Post, Trumps move to bypass Congress to fund the building of the wall is almost bound to trigger legal controversy. Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said, It is unconstitutional to use the power conferred by the state of emergency to build the wall, and we are ready to file a lawsuit.
Since Trumps inauguration, the organization has initiated 119 lawsuits against its government, leading the Federal Court to reject its Muslim ban, asylum cities and refugee resettlement, immigrant dreamers and other policies.
Source: Responsible Editor of Observer Network: Qian Mingxiao_NBJ10675