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Trump Declares National Emergency To Obtain More Money For Border Wall

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President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that he will declare the situation on the U.S. border with Mexico a national emergency in order to secure additional funding for his divisive border wall.

Trump announced the controversial move in a speech from the White House Rose Garden after both the House and Senate approved legislation to avoid another government shutdown.

The spending bill provides significant money for border security, including nearly $1.4 billion for physical barriers, but falls well short of the $5.7 billion Trump has demanded for construction of the wall.

Trump subsequently decided to declare a national emergency to go around Congress and obtain more money for the wall by shifting funds from other projects.

During his remarks, Trump reiterated the justifications for the border wall that he offered throughout his presidential campaign and his two years in the White House.

"It's not like it's complicated, it's very simple," Trump told reporters. "We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals and gangs from coming into our country."

Trump claimed past presidents have declared national emergencies for issues that were far less important and shrugged off concerns that the move could set a dangerous precedent.

The president acknowledged that the declaration is likely to face legal challenges but expressed optimism he would eventually win the case in the Supreme Court.

Trump suggested he could have gotten the wall built by negotiating with Congress over the next several years, but stated, "I wanna do it faster."

In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the move a "a power grab by a disappointed President."

"The President's unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation," Pelosi and Schumer said.

They added, "The President's emergency declaration, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our Founders' vision."

Pelosi and Schumer called on their Republican colleagues to join them to defend the Constitution, declaring, "The President is not above the law. The Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution."

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

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