State of Emergency: States Believe Trump Abuses Power

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State of Emergency: States Believe Trump Abuses Power

Larkin Kruthoffer, Writer

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Sixteen states join in on a coalition to sue Trump for using his State of Emergency powers to build his border wall. The lawsuit sparked from a constitutional confrontation by President Trump claiming that he would “spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than Congress had granted him.” According to the New York Times, “the suit filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco, argues that the president does not have the power to divert funds for constructing a wall along the Mexican border because it is Congress that controls spending.” The attorney general of California believes he has an edge over the case because of the evidence given by President Trump in his speech to announce his plan on February 15 where he said, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”

Congress is on its own field to override Trump’s state of emergency. The House of Representatives, now controlled by Democrats, may take a “two-prong approach when it returns from a recess. One would be to bring a lawsuit of its own.” The White House plans to move $8 billion in available funds towards the construction of the wall. According to Fox News, the money includes about “$600 million from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund. That money has been described as ‘easy money’ that the White House can use however it wants. The White House is also expected to use drug interdiction money from the Department of Defense.” Trump plans on tapping into the Defense Department’s military construction budget to receive $3.5 billion, which will take a toll on the military spending budget.

Since Congress enacted the National Emergencies Act of 1976, never before has a president issued a State of Emergency to bypass congress to get funding after a policy has been rejected. Trump’s plan to bypass congress raises some questions regarding the Constitution. Lawmakers plan to argue the very complex legal issues and are able to interpret several statues, which, according to Ohio State University law professor Peter M. Shane, raises questions of the “complicated issues of administrative law.”  

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