Baldwin: ‘We will rue the day’ Trump declares national emergency for border wall – POLITICO
Sen. Tammy Baldwin said Monday that the prospect of a national emergency declaration from President Donald Trump to begin construction on his long-promised border wall has “many Republicans shaking in their boots” because of the precedent it could set for future Democratic presidents.
The Wisconsin Democrat told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that such an emergency declaration, a step Trump has said he could take if lawmakers fail to pass legislation that includes funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, would be quickly tied up in court with legal challenges. The declaration would unlock military resources for wall construction and, Baldwin cautioned, set a standard for executive action that Republicans could come to regret.
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“I think everyone’s clear that’s going to get litigated, not the question of whether his opinion of an emergency is the same as other people’s but we will rue the day when we let a president start taking money for one purpose, declaring an emergency and using it for another,” she said. “I’m sure there are many Republicans shaking in their boots about that happening with a future Democratic president.”
While some Republicans have taken the same line of reasoning against a national emergency declaration, expressing discomfort with the idea of the president acting unilaterally to fulfill his signature 2016 campaign pledge, other allies of the president have supported his plan despite decrying the “overreach” of Trump’s Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Lawmakers must reach an agreement on border security by Feb. 15 in order to stave off a second government shutdown. Lawmakers from both houses of Congress are in the midst of negotiating a compromise border security plan, although it remains unclear whether Trump would sign such a deal since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated it will not contain any money for a border wall.
Members of the conference committee have offered mixed assessments of what kind of compromise the group will reach, with some optimistic that a deal can be struck that contains some kind of physical barrier. Others, like Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), have warned that compromise will be difficult and that the chances of reaching a deal are “slim” so long as Pelosi and Trump remain bitterly at odds.
Trump has dismissed the congressional negotiations as a waste of time and said it was likely he’d issue an emergency declaration, hinting that he could do so as soon as in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.