Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has suggested a border wall solution for President Donald Trump that will leave Democrats in shambles.
On Sunday, Meadows took to Twitter to suggest Trump and Republicans should use 10 USC 274/284, which would allow the construction of fencing without congressional approval.
“Democrats have made it extremely clear this shutdown is all about opposing Trump for them. It’s time to pursue other options. 10 USC 274/284 would allow for fence construction without national emergency. Protect our communities, build the wall, and forget unreasonable Democrats,” he wrote.
Democrats have made it extremely clear this shutdown is all about opposing Trump for them. It’s time to pursue other options. 10 USC 274/284 would allow for fence construction without national emergency. Protect our communities, build the wall, and forget unreasonable Democrats.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 20, 2019
Below is a description of the law that Meadows referred to:
(a) The Secretary of Defense may, in accordance with other applicable law, make Department of Defense personnel available for the maintenance of equipment for Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement officials, including equipment made available under section 372  of this title.
(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and in accordance with other applicable law, the Secretary of Defense may, upon request from the head of a Federal law enforcement agency, make Department of Defense personnel available to operate equipment (including equipment made available under section 372 1 of this title) with respect to—
(A) a criminal violation of a provision of law specified in paragraph (4)(A);
(B) assistance that such agency is authorized to furnish to a State, local, or foreign government which is involved in the enforcement of similar laws;
(C) a foreign or domestic counter-terrorism operation; or
(D) a rendition of a suspected terrorist from a foreign country to the United States to stand trial.
The law appears to indicate that the Secretary of Defense can use the Department of Defense for the “maintenance of equipment for Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement officials.”
This would mean the Army and other military servicemen could legally be ordered to build the wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
More importantly, this is already a law on the books, meaning it would be more difficult for Democrats to challenge the decision in court if Trump went this route.
Republicans have offered several deals and compromises that would reopen the federal government and secure the border, but Democrats have balked at all of them.
Trump has been determined to get at least $5 billion in funding for the wall amid the government shutdown, which has lasted over one month.
Last month, House Republicans voted 217-185 to approve a measure that would keep the government open and allocate $5.7 billion for border wall funding.
The bill is now waiting a full vote in the Senate, where lawmakers are hashing it out over funding for border security.
Trump has also threatened to declare a national emergency and have the military build his wall, which would use funds from the Department of Defense.
House Armed Service Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA, stunned many over the weekend and admitted that Trump has the full authority to use the U.S. military to build the border wall.