President Trump was hailed as liar-in-chief on Twitter for manufacturing a fake national emergency to satisfy demands from his political base to build a wall along the Mexican border.
Trump reportedly planned to declare a national emergency to access full funding for the barrier to keep migrants from entering the country. His expected move was prompted on Thursday by the Senate’s passage of a bipartisan spending bill that did not include the amount of money he wanted to construct the wall.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”
This comes on the heels of Trump partially shutting down the federal government for more than 30 days because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led Democrats in refusing to authorize the more than $5 billion he wanted to construct the wall. Ultimately, he caved and signed a temporary measure to reopen the government and pay federal employees who were told to work for weeks without getting a paycheck.
Pelosi noted on Thursday that Trump is manufacturing a crisis to get his wall. The real crisis, she said, is the gun violence across the nation–as the country paused to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“Let’s talk about today: The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Pelosi said. “That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.
The wall, however, is not a done deal. Trump will likely face legal opposition to his national emergency declaration, which even some Republicans have cautioned against, according to CBS News. Part of the legal obstacles include eminent domain—taking private property for government use.
This move is really all about politics, many Trump opponents have said. He vowed to his base during his presidential campaign to build a wall that Mexico would pay for. Recently, he’s been rallying his supporters about constructing the wall by using one of his favorite tactics—fear that Black and brown people are invading the country. That strategy has worked before, and the president seems ready to use it again for his re-election bid.
Here’s what people have been saying on social media.
That he did this on the Parkland anniversary makes it even worse. Climate change. Thousands dead in Puerto Rico. Opioid addiction. Police brutality. California’s worst fires ever. Poisoned children in Flint. Folks going broke over healthcare. These people. https://t.co/CZOZ9Eeuig— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 14, 2019
.@SpeakerPelosi all but threatening Republicans that if Donald Trump declares a national emergency for a manufactured crisis, future Democratic presidents will feel free to act accordingly on real crises, like the epidemic of gun violence.— Joy-Ann Pro-Democracy & Masks Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) February 14, 2019
There is not a "national emergency" with regard to the southern border. What President Trump is doing is unlawful and must be opposed vigorously in the courts and legislatively.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 14, 2019
This is a blatant abuse of power. Dem leadership must move to hold a vote to strike down 45's #NationalEmergency declaration. Under the provisions of the National Emergencies Act, a pres. declaration can be terminated if lawmakers pass a joint resolution. https://t.co/6VPrHRGbAL— ColorOfChange (@ColorOfChange) February 14, 2019
Mexico wouldn't pay for @realDonaldTrump's wall. Congress wouldn't fully fund it. So now he's throwing a temper tantrum and declaring a "national emergency." My new bill would stop him from using disaster recovery funds for his pet project. https://t.co/zSPp4INty3— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 14, 2019
Let’s be clear: there is no national emergency. Trump is treating taxpayer money like his personal slush fund, and it’s only going to make us less safe, less secure, and less stable as a nation. https://t.co/mrjwKidAH5— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) February 14, 2019
The main national emergency is Trump.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 14, 2019
Law only allows the use of a #NationalEmergency in two scenarios:— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) February 14, 2019
1. Declaration of war
2. Emergency requiring the use of armed forces
Not because you failed at negotiating & Mexico won't pay for your racist wall.
The American people will see you in court, @realDonaldTrump.
Millions of Americans don't have healthcare. Thousands of lives are lost each year to acts of gun violence. We could be suffering the consequences of climate change for generations.— Sherrod Brown (@SherrodBrown) February 14, 2019
And yet Trump is declaring a national emergency over his inability to fulfill a campaign promise. https://t.co/Cuk9SQEWyL
Trump’s inability to follow through on a campaign promise is not a national emergency.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 14, 2019
Let’s not forget those still struggling to rebuild their lives after this administration failed to respond effectively to real emergencies in places like Puerto Rico. https://t.co/NMSRnvKJQF
If Trump follows through and declares a national emergency over this manufactured crisis, it would be a gross abuse of presidential power. The real national emergency is a president who would usurp such authority in defiance of Congress to score political points.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) February 14, 2019
Why didn't @realDonaldTrump declare a national emergency 35 days ago, or last year? Because he knows he will lose in court.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 14, 2019
There is no national emergency:
-Border crossings at around a 20-year low
-Violent crime is down
-Property crime is down
-Immigrants commit less crime https://t.co/z664hA1ukJ
Declaring a national emergency over this President's vanity project is ridiculous. We don't need a wall. Instead, we should address the actual emergencies facing our country — everything from gun violence to the opioid crisis.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2019
If the border wall was such an emergency, why didn’t Trump get it funded during the two years he had a Republican Congress when he was prancing around the country golfing, campaigning and tweeting every day? https://t.co/a732GcImIE— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 14, 2019
President Trump’s call for a national emergency to build a southern border wall would be a clear abuse of presidential power.— ACLU (@ACLU) February 14, 2019
Shame on any member of Congress who doesn’t clearly and vigorously speak out on this illegitimate invocation of emergency authorities. https://t.co/9DdLRgfCRf