Rep. Schiff: Trump Can’t Declare An Emergency To Build Border Wall

Rep. Adam Schiff( D-Calif .) had a blunt appraisal after President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to declare a national emergency in order to build his border wall: Trump “doesn’t have the power.”

Before leaving for Camp David on Sunday, the president told reporters that he was considering employing emergency powers to build a wall on the southern margin, the funding for which Congress has refused to provide. The government has been partially shut down over this impasse.

Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House intelligence committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that not only is that rhetoric “really menacing, ” but suggested that the president can’t even do that.

“If Harry Truman couldn’t nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this president doesn’t have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion-dollar wall on the border, ” Schiff said on Tapper’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “So that’s a nonstarter.”

Truman had cited a national emergency during the course of its Korean War to take control of the steel industry in 1952, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck down his executive order.

Trump’s government shutdown has hinged on his is asking for more than$ 5 billion in wall funding, but neither the president nor the freshly empowered Democrats in the House of Representatives seem to be budging.

Trump first floated the national emergency notion at a press conference held Friday, but whether he can actually do so is a grey area, legal experts told NBC News.

“He can declare some kind of national emergency, but what it would allow him to do legally is a totally different question, ” George Washington University professor and presidential power expert Matt Dallek told the outlet.

Harvard Law School professor Mark Tushnet told NBC that Trump may actually be able to get his wall by turning to certain unused Defense Department funds that Congress doles out yearly with no specific intention.

“My instinct is to say that if he proclaims a national emergency and uses this pot of unappropriated money for the wall, he’s on very solid legal ground, ” Tushnet said.

GOP and Democratic presidents have met multiple times to negotiate an purpose to the government shutdown, which went into consequence Dec. 21, but acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says little progress has been induced.

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