He predicts it will be challenged in the courts.
Washington DC (KM). The Trump Administration could be facing legal challenges to the President’s decision last Friday declaring a national emergency. He took this action last week to bypass Congress and use his executive authority to allocate money to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
6th District Representative David Trone (D) calls the President’s actions “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.” “And yet he cannot stop himself on an empty campaign promise that Mexico was going to pay for building the wall.. We all know that was absurd. Now he’s declaring a national emergency that doesn’t exist,” he says.
Trone says the President is taking money appropriated by Congress for federal military construction and anti-drug efforts. “The President has no right to take money out of the Pentagon’s military construction funds, which he has diverted $3.6-billilon,” he says. “And by the way, Maryland was in line for $520-million for military construction for Fort Meade and Joint Base Andrews.”
President Trump’s action follows a vote by Congress on a bill to fund the government and avoid another shutdown. The legislation contains $1.4-billion for border barriers, but not the more than $5-billion the President requested for the wall.
:”We need counter drug activity; we need military construction. And the President is, again, hung up on a campaign promise of Mexico building the wall. It’s not happening, and we can’t stand for it,” he says.
The President has said there is a crisis at the Mexican border, claiming illegal immigration is “an invasion of our country.” But Trone says there is crisis at the border. “The border is safer now than it’s even been,” says Trone. “What we need is new technology, smart technology, more personnel. We have have 3,000 positions that were authorized more than a year ago that they haven’t even hired yet.”
President Trump says he anticipates lawsuits challenging the national emergency declaration. The American Civil Liberties Union says it intends to sue, and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several state attorneys’ general have said they might go to court. The non-profit group Public Citizen has already filed suit, asking the District Court for the District of Columbia to halt the Administration’s action.
Representative Trone says his constituents don’t think much of a border wall. “It’s becoming a laughing stock for the constituents because all President Trump can talk about is wall, wall, wall,” he says. “We should be worried about keeping the government open, taking care of federal workers. Those are important things that we need to be focused on.”
By Kevin McManus