PC: Gage Skidmore

Declaring a state of national emergency is nothing new; the executive branch of our federal government has made this declaration 58 times since 1979, with 31 of them still being in effect. Yet, President Donald Trump’s recent declaration has some unique context characteristics that create a dangerous precedent.

Here are three of the biggest problems with this recent move:

1. Declared For 2020

One of the key promises of Trump’s 2016 campaign was that of building a border wall. It is because of this that his declaration’s timing makes me want to squirm. Nothing has worsened in the past months to create an immediate need for this. The only major change is that people are now announcing their 2020 bids for the White House.

This declaration doesn’t seem to be necessary for the United States’ wellbeing, but it does seem necessary for Trump to be able to point to campaign promises kept while he attempts to once again win in 2020.

2. Declared To Defy Congress

While many are disgusted with the $333 billion spending package Congress just passed, Trump should be rejoicing that $1.375 billion was appropriated to help fund the expansion of the border wall. While a far cry from his original demand of $5.7 billion, the compromise is what most leaders would consider a step in the right direction.

Yet, Trump refuses to be satisfied with congressional compromises and the check and balance of power in our country. In declaring a national emergency and bypassing Congress, Trump is now able to access an estimated $8 billion to use for building the wall.

3. Declared Out Of Impatience

Possibly the scariest thing about this declaration is that even Trump acknowledges it is unnecessary. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time,” he commented. “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”

Declaring a national emergency in a simple effort to speed up a timeline is foolish and irresponsible. Should I be surprised? Yes. Am I? No.

What is to stop a future president from making a similar declaration for their own pet issue? In his haste to get his border wall built, President Trump has just established a reckless precedent that could carry great consequences in the future. Shame on him.

PC: Gage Skidmore

3 comments
  1. Additional problem: The GOP is firmly Trump’s party now. Check his approval rating. Consequently, the GOP reps in Congress are afraid to stand up to this declaration except to waggle their fingers and harrumph very sternly about it. Basically, they’ll do anything short of actually voting in sufficient numbers to override any veto because they’re afraid of going down in the primaries. We even have the head of the Senate, Mitch McConnell selling out to placate his President.

    So now we’ll get to see if the third and final Constitutional check on power still functions.

  2. I do not agree with everything. First off, this isn’t a precedent unless you mean this president hasn’t declared national emergencies at the rate of his predecessors. I have lived in border towns and I have visited with people who live at crossing points. It is a problem. Other nations recognize protecting sovereignty and safety with tighter security, enforced immigration laws and, yes, walls. Democrats were on board until this administration took office. Illegal immigration hurts our country fiscally and with increased criminal activity. I agree with a wall to funnel individuals to the proper ports of entry. As a person with many immigrant family members, they are angered and frustrated that people who cross illegally are given a pass.

    1. Totally agree with you Andrea. Republicans had their chance to help Trump wh ed n tut hey had the majority in the House. The did not do it. We need this wall and President Trump has the power from the Constitution to do it.

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