Trump’s border emergency: President plans a 10 a.m. announcement in the Rose Garden
President Trump is set to hold an event at 10 a.m. in the Rose Garden at White House, where he is expected to sign spending legislation to avert a government shutdown while at the same declare a national emergency with the aim of securing about $6.5 billion more to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval.
Many of Trump’s Republican allies have called the move ill-advised, and Democrats are promising immediate action aimed at blocking it. The declaration is expected to face an array of legal challenges, possibly including from congressional Democrats.
Friday’s planned 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.
9 a.m.: Democrats warn of the dangers of taking money from military construction
As Trump prepared to announce a national emergency at the Mexican border, Democrats stepped up warnings about one of his planned funding sources to build new barriers: a military construction fund.
“As a member of the Armed Services Committee we authorize billions of dollars to improve our bases every year,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), an Iraq war veteran, wrote on Twitter. “That money is to build facilities to recruit, train and retain the worlds best military. A fake national emergency takes money from that mission.”
8:30: Trump to tap funds from Treasury forfeiture account in an unprecedented way
The money that Trump is seeking to redirect to border-wall construction includes $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, an account that is fed by money seized by the U.S. government.
This money comes from a number of agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service.
By law, the money can be used to promote “the use of proceeds from asset forfeitures to fund programs and activities aimed at disrupting criminal enterprises and enhancing forfeiture capabilities.”
The fund has never been used, though, in the way Trump will attempt to use it for a wall along the Mexico border.
8:15 a.m.: Schatz highlights Trump’s plans for golf after declaring emergency
As Democrats push back against Trump’s plans for declaring a national emergency at the border, some are employing a little humor.
“Apparently this thing is such an emergency that it will immediately be followed by golf,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawii) wrote on Twitter.
He was referring to Trump’s plans to fly to Palm Beach, Fla. on Friday afternoon for a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Golf is frequently on the agenda on such trips.