The White House is preparing a draft proclamation for President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border and has identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his signature border wall should he go that route, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN.
Trump has not ruled out using his authority to declare a national emergency and direct the Defense Department to construct a border wall as Congress and the White House fight over a deal to end the government shutdown. But while Trump's advisers remain divided on the issue, the White House has been moving forward with alternative plans that would bypass Congress.
“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” a draft of a presidential proclamation reads. “Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States,” the draft adds.
This doesn’t mean Trump is going to pull the trigger, of course — but it shows that he’s open to the possibility.
Given the resolve congressional Democrats have shown throughout this manufactured tragedy, this may be Trump’s only means of saving face. One can only assume this will get shot down by the courts, but who knows?
CNN reports that the draft was updated as recently as last week, and that the plan would be to pull $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and other funds from the budget. The wall would then be constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
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