Na­tional emer­gency threat

Trump is­sues threat in fight over fund­ing for US-Mex­i­can bor­der wall

Daily Dispatch - - World News -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has again threat­ened to de­clare a na­tional emer­gency along the bor­der with Mex­ico as he seeks fund­ing for a wall he says will keep out dan­ger­ous im­mi­grants – his lat­est jab in a fight with Democrats in Congress that has now shut down parts of the gov­ern­ment for a record­ty­ing 21 days.

Such a dec­la­ra­tion, al­most cer­tain to be chal­lenged in court, would in the­ory al­low Trump to side­step Congress and di­vert money from mil­i­tary projects to­wards con­struc­tion of the wall that has been a core fo­cus of his na­tion­al­ist cam­paign.

Speak­ing to Fox News, Trump re­it­er­ated he had “the ab­so­lute right to de­clare a na­tional emer­gency”.

An­a­lysts say the dec­la­ra­tion would likely be chal­lenged as a case of pres­i­den­tial over­reach, which means the wall could still face be­ing blocked.

How­ever, it would give Trump po­lit­i­cal cover with his base by show­ing he’d done what he could to build the wall. At that point, Trump could end the shut­down and de­clare a win.

The em­bar­rass­ing clo­sure of parts of the US gov­ern­ment will set a record 22 days on Satur­day.

Mean­while, on Fri­day, some 800,000 fed­eral work­ers who are work­ing with­out pay or not at all be­cause of the im­passe, missed their first pay­check since the shut­down.

Trump toured the bor­der with Mex­ico ear­lier this week to press his case for a wall and warned of mur­der­ers and gang­sters spread­ing across the coun­try.

Trump used the back­drop of the Rio Grande bor­der river at McAllen, Texas, to ramp up what has al­ready turned into a hugely messy po­lit­i­cal fight with Demo­cratic op­po­nents.

With typ­i­cal rhetor­i­cal flour­ishes, Trump said that only build­ing more walls along the Mex­i­can bor­der could stop an on­slaught of vi­o­lent crime.

Op­po­si­tion Democrats are re­fus­ing to ap­prove $5.7bn (R79bn) in wall fund­ing, say­ing that over­whelm­ing num­bers of il­le­gal im­mi­grants do not com­mit se­ri­ous crimes and that Trump was mainly pro­mot­ing the project to sat­isfy his right-wing base.

Trump’s re­fusal to sign a fund­ing bill with­out money for the wall has re­sulted in a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Even some law­mak­ers in Trump’s Re­pub­li­can Party are wa­ver­ing in their sup­port for the pres­i­dent as the shut­down causes dif­fi­cul­ties for their con­stituents.

Mean­while, sig­nalling he’s ready to main­tain the game of brinks­man­ship, Trump tweeted on ar­rival in Texas that he will scrap a visit to the an­nual World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land, which runs from Jan­uary 21 to 25. –

Pic­ture: Jim WAT­SON/AFP

SHOW­MAN­SHIP: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump trav­elled to the US-Mex­ico bor­der on Thurs­day, a day after he stormed out of ne­go­ti­a­tions when Democrats re­fused to agree to fund his wall project.

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