What a National Emergency Is and What Comes Next

WASHINGTON - After teasing it for months, President Donald Trump is officially declaring the U. S-Mexico border a "national emergency," which will allow him to circumvent Congress's constitutional powers to control spending and divert federal funds toward his much ballyhooed border wall.His decision to do so, after not getting the money he wanted from Congress to put toward construction of his wall, has drawn immense criticism as an overreach of executive power. So, is it? Can he actually do this? Let's review the basic facts of what it means for a president to declare a national emergency.What is a national emergency?In 1976, Congress passed the National Emergencies Act, which permits the president to pronounce a national emergency when he considers it appropriate. The act offers no specific definition of "emergency" and allows a president to declare one entirely at his or her discretion.  Continue reading...

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