House Democrats are introducing a “plan B” this week that would stop President Donald Trump from building his border wall — but the president has two options up his sleeve.
According to the Washington Examiner, House Democrats are trying to pass a measure that would block Trump from using “taxpayer money” for his proposed border wall.
Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., and five other Democrats proposed the bill, which would prevent Trump from declaring a “national emergency” to begin construction on the wall.
“My bill, the No Taxpayer Funding for the Wall Act, will block the president from executing his reckless plan and force him to honor his pledge that Mexico will fund the wall,” Moore said.
“I call on both Democrats and Republicans to join me in my effort by supporting this commonsense legislation to protect the American public’s tax dollars,” she said. “We must pass this bill to ensure that President Trump can no longer hold the American people hostage.”
If Congress doesn’t reach an agreement on border security by Feb. 15, part of the federal government will shutdown again.
To avoid this, and assuming Democrats will not offer any funding for a border wall, Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to build a border wall.
Moore’s bill could pass the Democratic-controlled House, but it’s highly unlikely that it would get anywhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.
While Democrats are doing everything imaginable to prevent Trump from building the wall on the southern border between the United States and Mexico — which experts argue would keep the nation safer — Trump has a few options up his sleeve.
During a hearing last Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee, Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood told Rep. Mo Brooks, R-AL, that there’s a loophole that would allow Trump to build the wall without Congress or having to declare a national emergency.
Rood and Brooks went on to discuss 10 U.S. Code § 284, which appears to indicate that the president of the United States can direct America’s military to build a wall.
BROOKS: I want to direct your attention to 10 United States Code § 284 which authorizes President Trump to deploy the United States military to the southern border to build fences and to do a lot of other things. And for clarity, if you look it up in the dictionary the word fence includes the word barrier and the word barrier includes walls made of a wide variety of different materials.
So that having been said, it seems to me that 10 U.S. Code § 284 can be used by the President of the United States to direct the United States military to build a wall. Now as of today, you’ve mentioned military forces along the southern border, have any of them been deployed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 284?
Now as of today, you’ve mentioned military forces along the southern border, have any of them been deployed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 284?
ROOD: Congressman, I don’t believe any of our forces have been deployed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 284. You are correct, however, that that use of authority would authorize the secretary of defense to erect barriers, roads, fencing, those types of materials to disrupt drug smuggling.
BROOKS: Does 10 U.S.C. § 284 as you understand it, require the declaration of a national emergency before it is implemented?
BROOKS: Has President Trump, to your knowledge, ever used 10 U.S.C § 284 to direct the military to build the wall that is necessary for border security?
ROOD: No, not to my knowledge, Congressman.
BROOKS: If President Trump were to direct the Pentagon and the United States military pursuant to 10 U.S.C § 284 to build such barriers as are necessary to secure our southern border from drug trafficking and international crime cartels would the United States military obey that order?
ROOD: If we judge it to be a lawful order, yes sir. And I assume it would be.
In fact, Trump may even have a “Plan C.”
Lepor argues that several former president’s have used the “unobligated balances” and that there would be a clear precedent for Trump to do the same thing to build the wall.