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Federal law could not be more clear that President Donald Trump can declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexican border, and that such a declaration gives him access to all the funding he needs to build the wall.
Congressional Democrats have rejected all compromise legislation that would have given them half a loaf, ironically putting the president in a situation where the only way he can keep his most-often-repeated campaign promise is to declare a border emergency, where he does not need to compromise with Democrats on anything.
National - Emergencies - Act - President - Authority
The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives every president unconditional authority on any subject, including a border emergency. Codified at 50 U.S.C. § 1601, this federal statute provides that “the words ‘any national emergency in effect’ means a general declaration of emergency made by the President.”
Contrary to the hyperventilating from partisan Democrats and media pundits pretending to be legal experts, these emergencies are common, and can last decades. Presidents have declared 58 emergencies since 1979, and 31 of those 58 are still in effect today. The first such emergency, which President Jimmy Carter declared in 1979 against Iran-sponsored terrorism, is still in effect 40 years later.
Congress - Provisions - Emergency - Powers - Years
Congress has passed 136 statutory provisions with presidential emergency powers over the years, delegating significant authority to the president when he declares an emergency. Congress’s research arm notes that in certain types of emergencies, these powers include restricting travel, seizing commodities or property, and regulating businesses.
Not only that, but Congress specifically amended the Posse Comitatus Act – the law that prevents U.S. military troops from operating on U.S. soil, found at 18 U.S.C. § 1385 – in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act to allow U.S. troops to function domestically under certain circumstances. One of those circumstances is to enforce federal law. Another is that the defense secretary can...
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