Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday issued a warning to Republicans poised to support President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency…
The Hill: Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday issued a warning to Republicans poised to support President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border: the next Democratic president, she said, could do the same on guns.
“A Democratic president can declare emergencies, as well,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.”
Pelosi noted that Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students and faculty dead. She argued that the real national emergency is not illegal border crossings, but gun violence in the U.S.
“Let’s talk about today: The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Pelosi said. “That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.
“But a Democratic president can do that.”
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) also shared a tweet calling several issues championed by Democrats, such as climate change and income inequality, a “national emergency.”
Gun violence is a national emergency
Climate Change is a national emergency
Income inequality is a national emergency
Access to healthcare is a national emergency
Building a wall on the southern border is not.
— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) February 14, 2019
Moments before Pelosi spoke, the White House had announced that Trump would sign an enormous spending deal to prevent another partial government shutdown slated to begin on Saturday.
The measure includes billions of dollars in border security measures — including $1.375 billion to construct 55 miles of new barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border — but the White House said Trump will separately declare a national emergency at the border in order to liberate additional funds from other programs to build his promised wall.
Trump had demanded $5.7 billion to fund a wall along the border during the previous 35-day shutdown over December and January, which became the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
The notion of declaring such an emergency to promote spending not approved by Congress has been panned by a number of Republican lawmakers in recent weeks. Yet Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who’s scrambling to prevent a second shutdown, said Thursday he’d support it.
What happens next is unclear. Pelosi declined to say if Democrats would launch a legal challenge against the coming national emergency, though one has been expected after Trump spent weeks floating such a declaration.
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