President Trump on Monday reiterated his ability to declare a national emergency and build his border wall, pointing out that top Democrat Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee admitted on Sunday that Trump can do so.
Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, “Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times.” No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
On Sunday, ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos asked Smith "Does President Trump have the ability, have the authority to declare a national emergency and have the military build his wall?"
"Well, unfortunately, the short answer is yes," replied Smith. "There is a provision in the law that says the president can declare an emergency. 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? You have to establish that in order to do this. Beyond that, this would be a terrible use of Department of Defense dollars."
"The president spends most of his time talking about how we’re not spending enough on national security, now he wants to take $20 billion out of defense budget to build a wall. Which by the way, is not going to improve our border security. The president seems unaware of this, but we have actually already built a wall across much of the border, and all border security experts that I talk to say, where a wall makes sense, it’s already been built. We should have a conversation about border security, but first, we should we open the government and pay our border patrol agents and the federal agents that are furloughed," Smith added.
I joined @ThisweekABC to discuss the government shutdown and the President’s plan to declare a nat'l emergency to pay for his proposed border wall. He is shutting down the gov't to break his signature campaign promise - that taxpayers weren’t going to have to pay for the wall. pic.twitter.com/oglk7azYKA— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) January 6, 2019