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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — One crisis has been averted in Washington, but another potential one is right around the corner. Congress did its part to avoid a government shutdown, but a new fight is brewing, as the President prepares to declare a national emergency to build the border wall.
The White House confirmed in a statement Thursday that President Trump will declare a national emergency.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also taken executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”
“There have probably been about 60 national emergencies in United States history,” Drexel politics professor Bill Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg points out President Richard Nixon declared a national emergency when US postal workers went on strike.
“He brought in the National Guard to deliver the mail,” Rosenberg said.
But he says what makes this national emergency different is how it comes after a split Congress passed what both sides believe is a fair budget.
“Congress has clearly stated, House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, that this was the limit on what should be spent on the border wall,” Rosenberg said.
That limit, set at $1.4 billion — a fraction of the $5.7 billion President Trump requested for the barrier or wall.
Professor Rosenberg says it’s unclear where the additional money will come from, but it will have to be allocated from other agencies or projects.
“For example, for the opioid problem, or the rebuilding of Puerto Rico,” Rosenberg said. “Taking from Peter to pay Paul. There is not more money that could be available.”
“If you’re from Florida, you’re going to be very unhappy if it comes out of hurricane relief,” Rosenberg said.
And though where the money will come from affects which Americans may be directly impacted, Rosenberg expects this executive action to get tied up in a lengthy legal battle.
“Congress steps up and says, ‘We’re passing a legal document, legislation, no more money for this,’ or the courts step in and say, ‘This is no longer a national emergency anymore,'” Rosenberg said.
Some Republicans have already expressed opposition to the President’s plan, saying it possibly sets a precedent for a future Democratic President to declare a national emergency on another broad issue.