Ahead of the President’s annual State of the Union speech, Senate GOP lawmakers have warned Donald Trump against using national emergency to provide funding for his promised border wall.
The lawmakers argue that such a move would immediately be met with resistance on Capitol Hill where Congress could pass a resolution of disapproval to block President Trump. Several Republican senators also expressed concerns about what kind of precedent declaring a national emergency to obtain funding for a border wall would set.
“There’s a lot of reservations in the conference about it and I hope they don’t go down that path,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune.
Senator John Cornyn likewise pointed to how “dangerous” declaring a national emergency would be, arguing that it would undoubtedly be challenged in Congress and would thus not result in having the wall built.
He stressed that a move like that would mean that presidents can “usurp the separation of powers and get into the business of appropriating money for specific projects without Congress being involved,” which he said was “a serious constitutional question.”
Democrats have rejected the idea of building a concrete wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump has long sought to do, but have signaled openness to fencing or other types of barriers, The Hill informs.
Negotiators have until February 15 to iron out their differences and reach a deal to avoid another government shutdown. But they want to strike a deal by the end of this week to give time for the House and Senate to jump through its procedural hoops and pass the necessary legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was not sure a second government shutdown was off the table, saying, “We don’t know quite yet how this is going to end. But I’m hopeful and optimistic.”
However, some senators are fearful that talks have taken a step backward as Democrats are adamant they would not agree to “any wall money in the legislation.”