Art of the Deal My Ass: Boxed In Trump and His So-Called Emergency

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Trump's border emergency order will divide Republicans and may be stopped in court.

Susan Collins Chimes In

"Declaring a national emergency is a mistake."

Political Emergency

The Wall Street Journal editorial board comments on Trump’s Political Emergency

The emergency declaration will please his most ardent supporters, but Mr. Trump is setting an unfortunate precedent—and judges could tie up his wall in court for years.

Mr. Trump had little choice other than to sign the spending bill or see the government shut down for the second time in a month. He boxed himself in by saying in December that he’d gladly take ownership of a shutdown, only to discover that his poll numbers fell further the longer the January closure went on.

Republicans in Congress bailed him out by getting at least $1.38 billion for border funding, enough for about 55 miles of fencing. Mr. Trump is grousing that Senate Republicans were out-negotiated, but they had to play the bad hand he dealt them. He should be grateful because he blundered into the shutdown with bluster but no strategy.

Yet rather than declare partial victory and fight again in the next budget, Mr. Trump will now test the limits of his executive power. The White House hasn’t released the details of its legal justification. But it’s likely he will employ the National Emergencies Act of 1976 so he can move funds previously appropriated for other purposes to build his wall. This looks to us like a misuse of the emergency power delegated by Congress, which is meant for genuine security crises, not to fulfill a campaign promise.

We’ve argued that Mr. Trump might win his emergency gambit if the case goes to the Supreme Court, but it is a close call and he is taking a big legal risk. Property owners affected by the wall will sue, and the House of Representatives will surely sue as well on grounds that Mr. Trump is usurping its constitutional power of the purse. House Republicans set that precedent with their important and successful lawsuit against President Obama on ObamaCare funding.

Constitutional conservatives should also worry if Mr. Trump wins in court. A precedent will be set that future Presidents could use to impose their own priorities despite a reluctant Congress. If climate change will end life as we know it in 12 years, why not impose part of the Green New Deal? No one believes more than we do that a President needs flexibility to move with dispatch in wartime. But the Constitution is also clear that Congress must appropriate money for public purposes.

Mr. Trump’s obsession with building a wall has caused him no end of political grief. He’ll be lucky if this emergency declaration doesn’t end the same way.

Huge Offer Rejected

Those are all arguments I have made before.

A year ago, Schumer offer Trump $20 billion for a wall. All Schumer wanted in return was a deal about dreamers.

Trump foolishly turned him down.

TTF: Totally Trump's Fault

I commented on the proposed deal on January 28 in TTF: Totally Trump's Fault

The alleged "master" of the Art of the Deal had a major concession for $20 billion to fund a wall.

If $7 billion can build a wall then $20 billion could build a double wall of the same height for perhaps $12 billion.

There would have been sufficient money to buy land, not steal it, one of my primary concerns.

Trump turned that offer down.

Bluster But No Strategy

The important point is the stubborn pigheadedness of a self-proclaimed master deal-maker who is all bluster and no deal.

This is seriously pathetic no matter how you slice it, no matter which side you are on.

Art of the Deal My Ass.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (22)
No. 1-15
shred1
shred1

Mish, you really should just avoid politics. You're talking outta yer arse.

AWC
AWC

"When a president goes through the white house door, and does what he says he'll do, we'll all be drinkin' that free bubble up, and eatin' that rainbow stew." Merle Haggard.

stillCJ
stillCJ

Editor

People are acting as if Trump's "National Emergency" is unique. Hardly: Obama declared 13 "National Emergencies". Here are 2 of them: in 2012, Obama declared a national emergency entitled, "Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen" in order to freeze the assets of anyone perceived to be negatively impacting a political transition in Yemen, VOA reported. In 2014, the 44th president issued a national emergency referred to as "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine," which similarly locked the assets of those thought to be undermining democratic processes in Ukraine. What in the hell do those things have to do with an American National Emergency? But as usual the useless repubs let him do whatever he wanted.

Cecil1
Cecil1

All Trump has to do is sign the forms, use his power and defend the nation.

Its will, not politics. Build the Wall. Period.

AWC
AWC

All said, there's a good chance Donny pulls this off via The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, given any State friction, and with a little help from his friends in the Supreme Court. But, of course, the process might be messy. Also as I understand it, the Congress can't veto a Declaration of Emergency without a two thirds majority vote in both houses. Don't think I'd sell The Donald short on this, just yet.

Jojo
Jojo

Seems like national emergencies is something that presidents since 1976 issue regularly. They mostly seem to be meaningless. So why is everyone making such a big deal of Trump declaring one more "emergency"? Let him declare his emergency. By the time the money and materials come together to be able to build Trump's wall, he will most likely be out of office and on the road to thankfully being forgotten, except for being the worst president in history.

Here's a list of the 31 national emergencies that have been in effect for years Jan 10, 2019

According to the Federal Register, 58 national emergencies have been declared since the National Emergency Act of 1976 was signed into law by President Gerald Ford.

And 31 have been annually renewed and are currently still in effect, as listed in the Federal Register.

Here's a list of the presidents who declared still ongoing national emergencies.

.....

ML1
ML1

The bill Democrats and RINO's wrote for Trump is an incompetent mass amnesty and destruction of Trump presidency and gives Democrats a VETO on using the 1.375 billion for a wall since building is limited to Rio Grande valley area and local authorities have a VETO and they are all Democrat controlled so in essence Trump got 0 dollars for a wall and he is too stupid to realize it and Trump appears to be surrounded by Koch Brothers lobbyists actively trying to sabotage Trump

Realist
Realist

History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I suspect there will be dozens of books written about him that will describe what an incompetent moron he is. Many of those will be from people he hired or appointed to important positions. Worst President ever.

Sechel
Sechel

Trump could win in the courts. Gorsuch & Kavanaugh have argued for expanded Presidential powers. Of course the right to declare a national emergency was a right ceded by Congress to the President by legislation so they could easily just take it back but they don't have the will. The bigger risk is this short termism that affects all political decision making and if the President adds national emergency to his list of tools the next President gains that as well. Funding projects via national emergency is not what the founders intended. I'm reminded how Surpreme Court judges now get confirmed with a simple majority because the Democrats in the Senate changed the rule, something they clearly regret now. Democrats can thank Harry Reid for that one.

Realist
Realist

Hi Sechel. Thank you for your insight on this matter. I agree. Short term thinking seems to dominate the US political and business environment. Perhaps that is part of the reason that pensions and health care are so badly managed (something that confounds me). You may have provided the best answer yet as to why the US seems to keep digging deeper holes to climb out of.

2banana
2banana

DACA was found "constitutional" even though it did and continues to violate Federal Laws and spends billions of dollars a year. And will for generations.

You can't have it both way.

"We’ve argued that Mr. Trump might win his emergency gambit if the case goes to the Supreme Court, but it is a close call and he is taking a big legal risk."

Escierto
Escierto

I am loving this. In 2020 when we have a Democratic president we will use this "emergency" to create national health care and far reaching climate change legislation. As part of the emergency we will remove every judge Trump ever appointed. In fact we will do whatever we want whenever we want. You will regret opening this Pandora's box as long as you live but so what?

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

More online comments about why this "budget" bill is a super stinker. Anyone in Congress who supported this monstrosity should be voted out:

Sechel
Sechel

we should call the national emergency for what it is: misappropriation of funds