Skip Navigation

Trump Is Destroying His Own Case for a National Emergency

By giving Congress additional time, Trump is taking away any legitimate justification for emergency action.

January 28, 2019

Cross-posted from The Atlantic

It has now been more than three weeks since President Donald Trump first began his public flirtation with declaring a national emergency as a way of getting funding to build a wall on the southern border. At first he seemed intent on declaring an emergency immediately. Within days, though, he began saying that he was in no hurry to pull that trigger. On Friday, even as he abruptly caved and allowed the government to reopen for three weeks without wall funding, he again threatened to declare an emergency—but only if Congress doesn’t give him what he wants.

Trump no doubt thinks he looks more reasonable if he gives Congress plenty of time to act before declaring an emergency. He might also think that Congress’s repeated failure to provide funds shows the need for emergency action. The truth is the exact opposite. By giving Congress time to definitively establish its unwillingness to fund the border wall, Trump is both taking away any legitimate justification for emergency action and proving his intent to subvert the constitutional balance of powers.

Read the full article at The Atlantic

(Image: Jamie Squire/Getty)