25 votes

McConnell Says Trump Plans to Declare National Emergency to Build Border Wall

15 comments

  1. [11]
    emdash Link
    This is surely going to get challenged and killed in court—I can't see any other way this would end. If it really was an emergency, Trump wouldn't have procrastinated and skited for weeks...

    This is surely going to get challenged and killed in court—I can't see any other way this would end. If it really was an emergency, Trump wouldn't have procrastinated and skited for weeks campaigning about it.

    14 votes
    1. [5]
      Silbern Link Parent
      Honestly, I think if he won in court, that would actually be the worse situation for conservatives. The wall would likely still not be built for a couple of reasons, not the least of which...

      Honestly, I think if he won in court, that would actually be the worse situation for conservatives. The wall would likely still not be built for a couple of reasons, not the least of which concerns eminent domain, redirection of congressional spending, and the timeline required to build such a theoretically massive project (and if a Democrat is elected in 2020, they'll almost certainly kill it).

      On the flipside though, it'd establish a precedent that a president can circumvent Congress for funding for situations they deem emergencies. When I think of other situations that are much more solidly established as emergencies but are currently being held back due to lack of funding, I think of climate change, welfare programs, run down infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, and potentially mass shootings just to name a few. Trump may be the president to create such a privilege (if he does that is), but I think undoubtedly liberals are the ones who'll benefit the most from it.

      13 votes
      1. [3]
        Greg Link Parent
        This line of thinking scares the hell out of me. Any circumvention of process, any weakening of checks and balances, any reduction of transparency ultimately serves to benefit those who would...

        Trump may be the president to create such a privilege (if he does that is), but I think undoubtedly liberals are the ones who'll benefit the most from it.

        This line of thinking scares the hell out of me. Any circumvention of process, any weakening of checks and balances, any reduction of transparency ultimately serves to benefit those who would abuse it.

        Sure, it allows more good things to be done more quickly if the right person is in power, but the pendulum swings back the other way hard when a true power-hungry bad actor manages to take over. And you'll never get rid of them, because once they invoke whatever powers their predecessors used sparingly, the emergency lasts forever and they won't let go.

        22 votes
        1. [2]
          spctrvl Link Parent
          Yeah, allowing the president to unilaterally create and fund things like that without congressional input seems to me to be the short road to American dictatorship, even more so with the president...

          Yeah, allowing the president to unilaterally create and fund things like that without congressional input seems to me to be the short road to American dictatorship, even more so with the president not being an elected position, strictly speaking.

          I think that the number one lesson we can draw from the Trump presidency is that the executive branch has had some serious and undesirable power creep over the years, and that needs to be reversed if we're to have a hope of maintaining democracy, particularly if we ever get an aspiring authoritarian in office that isn't constantly hamstrung by their own incompetence.

          17 votes
          1. frickindeal Link Parent
            The problem is the process. To curtail Executive power now, you need a willing Congress, and a veto-proof majority. Those things have rarely happened in recent politics.

            The problem is the process. To curtail Executive power now, you need a willing Congress, and a veto-proof majority. Those things have rarely happened in recent politics.

            2 votes
      2. Deimos Link Parent
        This was an interesting article last week on The Atlantic about how difficult it would be to actually get the land and build the wall: Why the Wall Will Never Rise: Trump is no match for the Texas...

        This was an interesting article last week on The Atlantic about how difficult it would be to actually get the land and build the wall: Why the Wall Will Never Rise: Trump is no match for the Texas border barons

        9 votes
    2. [5]
      pewpewpewpew Link Parent
      The United States has been in a constant state of emergency since 9-11. IIRC, the measure comes up for re auth every year or so, and the president has to re sign it.

      The United States has been in a constant state of emergency since 9-11. IIRC, the measure comes up for re auth every year or so, and the president has to re sign it.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        frickindeal Link Parent
        Yes, but all the associated spending is still appropriated through Congressional action. The President doesn't just move money around from different, already-appropriated places.

        Yes, but all the associated spending is still appropriated through Congressional action. The President doesn't just move money around from different, already-appropriated places.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          pewpewpewpew Link Parent
          no, but by declaring an "emergency" makes it easier to get funds without strict congressional approval.

          no, but by declaring an "emergency" makes it easier to get funds without strict congressional approval.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            frickindeal Link Parent
            It gets really convoluted too, with reporting requirements that not only haven't been met in years, but haven't been met ever, across three presidents:...

            It gets really convoluted too, with reporting requirements that not only haven't been met in years, but haven't been met ever, across three presidents: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/14/permanent-emergency-trump-becomes-third-president-renew-extraordinary-post-9-11-powers/661966001/

            I didn't mean to simplify the matter, but it hasn't meant diverting billions of dollars for a pet domestic project like what Trump's proposing now.

            3 votes
            1. pewpewpewpew Link Parent
              no, you and me are in agreement; trump could not get the money legally, so now he is trying to make an end run around Congress. Here's hoping Mueller finds enough dirt to have Congress impeach him.

              no, you and me are in agreement; trump could not get the money legally, so now he is trying to make an end run around Congress. Here's hoping Mueller finds enough dirt to have Congress impeach him.

              1 vote
  2. ourari Link
    Madeleine Albright's thoughts: Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/430039-madeleine-albright-if-trump-declares-national-emergency-hes-a-bully

    Madeleine Albright's thoughts:

    "He’s certainly anti-democratic, and I say so in the book, but I don’t call him a fascist because he isn’t violent. If he ends up declaring an emergency at the border over immigration, then I might change my position," Albright says.

    "There’s a long history of fascists using 'emergencies' to create fear and conflict, so that’s a potential red line," she continued. "If Trump does that, then he really is a bully with an army."

    The former top U.S. diplomat said that any use of the military to "incite violence" on American soil would definitely constitute a point of no return.

    "I’ll tell you where the line gets crossed: If Trump actually uses the military to deploy or incite violence, that’s when all bets are off. I’m very careful about who I call a fascist because I really do believe this is where the line is," she said, according to Vox.

    Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/430039-madeleine-albright-if-trump-declares-national-emergency-hes-a-bully

    12 votes
  3. [2]
    alyaza Link
    fair warning that this story basically just dropped, so a few details probably will change as the intent gets clearer. don't think most people saw this possibility coming, though. this isn't going...

    fair warning that this story basically just dropped, so a few details probably will change as the intent gets clearer. don't think most people saw this possibility coming, though. this isn't going to be popular if it goes forward either, even though it's basically a half measure compared to what was originally on the table. (also, looking forward to this being used as a precedent in the future.)

    11 votes
    1. arghdos Link Parent
      I too look forward to the Climate Change Response national emergency. Thanks, Don.

      (also, looking forward to this being used as a precedent in the future.)

      I too look forward to the Climate Change Response national emergency. Thanks, Don.

      16 votes
  4. alyaza Link
    as a sidenote while the national emergency plans go forward, the national emergency declaration is by all accounts extremely unpopular, even more than just building the wall itself. that'll go up,...

    as a sidenote while the national emergency plans go forward, the national emergency declaration is by all accounts extremely unpopular, even more than just building the wall itself. that'll go up, i'm sure, because of negative partisanship, but this is all but guaranteed to be another shot to the foot as far as his popularity goes.

    6 votes