Trump will ‘protect’ his national emergency declaration: White House advisor

Washington: US President Donald Trump will veto any effort by the Congress to annul his declaration of national emergency and will defend his announcement, said senior White House adviser Stephen Miller on Sunday.

In an interview to ‘Fox News Sunday’, Miller said that “substantial portions” of Trump’s barricade along the US-Mexico border will be completed by September 2020, just two months before the presidential elections.

“You’re going to see probably a couple hundred miles (of wall) in time, I would say, by the end of the next appropriation cycle. All together in terms of what we already have underway, what’s underway right now, and then what we’re going to complete,” he said.

A senior administration official said that the White House is mulling to move USD 8 billion in currently appropriated or available funds towards the construction of the wall. Out of the proposed amount, around USD 3 billion could be diverted help from the emergency declaration, according to Fox News.

On Friday, a defiant Trump declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and fulfill his long-pending demand of building the wall along the border with Mexico. Defending his move, the US President asserted that he had “no choice” but to use his emergency powers to stop illegal immigrants spreading crime and drugs.

Acknowledging that his move could be challenged legally, Trump remarked that his decision would eventually prevail. He said that he could wait for a “long time” to build his long-called barrier, but added that he wanted to move “faster” in this regard.

Trump signed a border security legislation into law approved by the Congress that funds roughly a quarter of the government and thereby, preventing a new partial shutdown that was set to begin on Saturday.

The bipartisan agreement would provide USD 1.3 billion in funding to build the barricade along the US-Mexico border, well short of Trump’s demand for USD 5.7 billion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, the top two Democrats in the Congress, criticised the US President for his decision and said that they would use “every available remedy” to revoke the “unlawful” emergency declaration.

The Democrats are planning to introduce a legislation to invalidate the emergency declaration under the US National Emergencies Act.

To prevent Trump from vetoing such a legislation, a two-thirds vote would be required by both the Democrat-held House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate.