President Donald Trump recently referred to Congressman Adam Smith, the new Democratic House Armed Services Committee chairman’s words to voice his support for possibly using military funding to build his controversial southern border wall.
In a tweet published on the morning of Monday, Jan. 7, Trump referred to Smith’s comment that the president “can declare an emergency” and order the U.S. Military to build a border wall under pre-existing federal legislation.
“No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress,” the president added.
Smith’s quote came from an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulous, where Smith stated the idea, according to the Military Times.
“There is a provision in law that says the president can declare an emergency,” Smith said while on the program. “It’s been done a number of times. But primarily it’s been done to build facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, where is the emergency.”
Beyond that, however, this would be a “terrible use” of Department of Defense spending, he added.
A recent disagreement between the White House and congressional Democrats regarding funds for a border wall project has resulted in a now 17-day partial government shutdown that has furloughed almost 400,000 federal workers and required the same number to work without pay.
Last Friday, Trump publicly voiced the idea of declaring a national emergency on border security and moving military funding to build the border wall for the first time. Congressional Democrats expressed their disapproval immediately after Trump made the announcement.
“Declaring a trumped up national emergency in order to skirt congressional approval is wrong,” said Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.). “And our troops and taxpayers should not bear the burden of a broken, preposterous campaign promise.”
“There is no national emergency. Declaring one would be wrong and horrible policy. Don’t take 5.6 billion dollars from our troops for a wall we do not need,” The House Armed Services Congressional Democrats tweeted.