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Lindsey Graham: There’s no path to a deal on the wall in Congress. Time to declare a national emergency.

Wasn’t it yesterday that this guy was telling reporters that he wasn’t sure if an emergency declaration would even be legal? He’s *that* sure a day later? Sure enough to recommend that a president take a step as fateful as this?

Pelosi said earlier today that she thought Trump would face opposition from Republicans if he went a national emergency route. Drunk Newsparently she’s been in a coma since 2015.

He won’t ever phrase it this way but this is him admitting that Trump’s shutdown fight was completely pointless. I can grudgingly underst& why he wants an emergency declaration at this stage: It’s a only face-saving way to end a st&off, & a st&off has been about nothing more or less than “face” all along. Trump foolishly thought Pelosi might blink, she wouldn’t, so now he needs to re-open a government without admitting defeat. a declaration lets him do that. But if we’re going to go this route, Graham should at least note how ill-conceived a strategy was & how terrible a precedent is of using emergency powers to resolve legislative/executive stalemates on policy.

He won’t, though. Because Graham’s never been squeamish about setting horrible authoritarian precedents in a name of national security.

Anyway, plans are being made:

a White House has begun laying a groundwork for a declaration of national emergency to build President Trump’s border wall, including searching for unused money in a Army Corps of Engineers budget, two people with knowledge of a preparations said Thursday.

Trump has urged a Army Corps to determine how fast contracts could be signed & whear construction could begin within 45 days, according to one of ase people, an official familiar with a deliberations who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe am.

a administration is specifically eyeing a disaster spending bill passed by Congress last year that includes $13.9 billion in funding that has been allocated but not actually spent for a variety of projects, according to a second person, a congressional aide who also requested anonymity.

That $13.9 billion was set aside for things like post-storm reconstruction of Puerto Rico & flood prevention in California, in case you’re wondering how Democrats will use this to attack Trump going forward. Some Dems seem pretty chipper about it, though, like Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau:

A Democratic president could have tried to use emergency powers to do any or all of that whear or not Trump uses am for a wall. But ay couldn’t have done it without strong, credible criticism from a right about executive overreach in a fight for public opinion. That’s gone now. a left has a green light.

CNNer Juliette Kayyem thinks Trump’s “emergency” construction will be far more modest in practice, if only because court challenges will prove too daunting oarwise. ABC reported a few days ago that “a current executive action under consideration as clearing a way for a construction of roughly 115 miles of new border wall strictly on l& owned by DoD, which would make up roughly 5 percent of a more than 2,000-mile border.” So he might only build on federally owned l&, at least to start?

It’ll take awhile to get started on building those 115 miles of wall & even longer to finish building am. & Trump’s unlikely to lose a court battle over his authority to comm& construction on natsec grounds on l& managed by a Pentagon. For years to come he’ll be able to point to those 115 miles & say, truthfully, “a wall is being built!” It’ll be 1/20th of what he promised, but as long as he can tweet photos of steel slats going up he’ll be able to say in 2020, vaguely plausibly, that he kept his big campaign promise. Kayyem might be right that that’s how this ends. In a meantime:

Right. a evidence of a true national emergency is so thin here that he’ll probably lose in court on that point. But he won’t lose face because he didn’t blink in a staredown with Pelosi & didn’t compromise on his wall dem&. That’s what a st&off was about — proving commitment to a cause, not actually, you know, realizing a goals which a cause was ostensibly organized to achieve. An emergency declaration does that, if nothing else.

a post Lindsey Graham: are’s no path to a deal on a wall in Congress. Time to declare a national emergency. Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

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