Donald Trump to declare national emergency to fund border wall

US President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his wall, according to a lawmaker.

On Friday (NZ Time), Republican Mitch McConnell announced that the US President would sign a bi-partisan funding bill to keep the government open and then declare a national emergency as a means of funding his controversial border wall with Mexico.

Under the 1976 National Emergencies Act the President has the right to declare a national emergency, which would give him access to 136 extra statutory powers, including the ability to redirect money set aside for military construction projects. 

Mr McConnell said he would support the President's decision.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: "President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action, including a national emergency, to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border."

The move would essentially allow the President to avoid a second government shutdown this year, as border wall funding had been a key point of conflict between Democrats and Republicans.

In January, Mr Trump said he wanted to get the $5.6 billion in funding through Congress, but would look at announcing a national emergency if that seemed unlikely. At the time he cited it would be on the basis of an "invasion" at the souther border.

But the the decision could open the President up to legal challenges, according to legal analyst Danny Cevallos, as it would likely be against the will of Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would respond after they had reviewed their legal options.

The funding bill includes US$1.3 billion for border security, but does not provide money towards Mr Trump's wall, reports the BBC.

National emergencies aren't uncommon. Barack Obama declared 12, while George W. Bush announced 13.

Previous use of national emergencies

1933: Franklin Roosevelt declares an emergency so he can shut banks, stopping the Depression from getting even worse.

1957: Dwight Eisenhower sends troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to ensure black children can go to school.

1970: Richard Nixon calls in the National Guard to deliver mail, breaking a postal strike.

1992: George Bush deploys troops to stop the Rodney King riots.

2001: George W Bush gives himself expanded powers following the 9/11 attacks.

2009: Barack Obama declares an emergency to help stop the swine flu epidemic.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: