President Trump on Friday declared a national emergency as a means to circumvent Congress and build additional border barriers. He is seeking to secure about $6.5 billion more in funding than Congress has approved.
Trump also plans to sign spending legislation to avert a government shutdown, his acting chief of staff said.
Many of Trump’s Republican allies have called a national emergency ill-advised, and Democrats immediately called the move unconstitutional on Friday. The declaration is expected to face an array of legal challenges.
Friday’s announcement follows passage of a 1,169-page spending bill that provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new fences along the border in Texas, far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had sought for 234 miles of steel walls.
11:30 a.m.: Trump wraps up remarks, makes no mention of signing spending bill
Trump wrapped up a Rose Garden news conference that stretched about 50 minutes without saying he would sign a spending bill passed by Congress on Thursday and intended to avert a government shutdown.
Speaking to reporters earlier, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump intends to sign the spending bill on Friday or possibly Saturday.
Funding for nine Cabinet departments and dozens of other agencies expires at midnight Friday.
11:25 a.m.: Trump takes apparent shot at former speaker Ryan
During his remarks in the Rose Garden, Trump said he was disappointed by one Republican in particular for not pushing faster for a border wall.
Asked by a reporter if he was talking about former House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Trump demurred.
“Let’s not talk about it, what difference does it make?” he said.
11:20 a.m.: New York Attorney General vows to ‘fight back with every legal tool at our disposal’
As Trump was still speaking, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said the president had created a “constitutional crisis.”
“This action will harm Americans across the country by diverting funds necessary to handle real emergencies and real disasters to advance the President’s personal agenda,” James said in a statement. “We will not stand for this abuse of power and will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal.”
11:10 a.m.: Pelosi, Schumer say Trump is shredding the Constitution
In a statement issued as Trump continued to speak in the Rose Garden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Trump’s emergency declaration “unlawful.”
“The President’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution,” the two Democratic leaders said. “The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”
“The President is not above the law,” Pelosi and Schumer added. “The Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution.”
11:05 a.m.: White House shares photo of Trump signing declaration
As Trump was speaking, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted out a photo of Trump signing the emergency declaration.
11 a.m.: Trump acknowledges he’ll face legal challenges… Finish here: Trump Declares National Emergency to Build Border Wall
This is complete and utter bullshit that we need to stop living by it is time for this man to be REMOVED from OFFICE!!!!