By J. D. Heyes
Democrats and some Republicans repeatedly ‘warned’ President Donald Trump last week not to use existing federal law to declare a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border if Congress didn’t give him funds to build new walls and barriers.
Not only did Congress fail to deliver, lawmakers passed a bill containing all sorts of “in your face” restrictions designed to not only deprive Americans of legitimate border security but to ‘punish’ POTUS (and his supporters).
As conservative talker Rush Limbaugh described the budget deal, “The attempt … is to send a message to you Trump voters that it’s worthless voting for him, that it is a waste of time supporting him because they are demonstrating that he can’t get anything done.”
The president anticipated a bum deal from Congress and as such threatened repeatedly to declare an emergency under the National Emergencies Act to build new fencing and walls designed to thwart illegal immigration and slow the importation of dangerous drugs that are killing Americans in epidemic proportions.
So, with such an obvious need for a declaration, given Congress’ partisan inaction, why shouldn’t have Trump declared an emergency? Well, because Democrats might do the same thing someday over a ‘fake emergency,’ according to the president’s naysayers.
Fair enough. And in fact, leave it to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to threaten just that.
As reported by The Hill, Pelosi ‘warned’ that a Democratic president could someday declare an emergency over gun violence, the implicit warning being that under such a declaration he or she could then ban certain guns. Or all guns. Or maybe even suspend the Second Amendment.
“A Democratic president can declare emergencies, as well,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.”
“Let’s talk about today: The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Pelosi said. “That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.
“But a Democratic president can do that,” she added.
Another Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, tweeted out a whole Left-wing laundry list of “national emergencies” that could be declared: Gun violence, climate change, income inequality, and access to healthcare.
Gun violence is a national emergency
Climate Change is a national emergency
Income inequality is a national emergency
Access to healthcare is a national emergency
Building a wall on the southern border is not.
— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) February 14, 2019
Obviously, none of the things Cleaver claims are national emergencies really are. But, according to The Atlantic, which is no fan of this president, POTUS “has access to emergency powers contained in 123 statutory provisions,” as calculated recently by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.
Granted, that’s a lot of leeway for a president.
But is what POTUS Trump is doing really that outrageous and improper? Not if we consider actions taken by his three immediate predecessors.
President Bill Clinton said in 1996 during his State of the Union Address that one area “the federal government should address and address strongly…is the problem of illegal immigration.” He was strong on illegal immigration because his administration deemed it a priority.
President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 because he, too, thought the problems posed by illegal immigration were severe enough that additional protections were necessary.
Most recently, President Obama warned of an “actual humanitarian crisis on the border” in 2014, when he was attempting to deal with a surge of illegal immigrants from Central American, urging Congress to take action.
So in these contexts, POTUS Trump is exactly right that what is currently taking place along the border is indeed an emergency.
What’s telling in all of this is that Pelosi’s fallback argument against Trump’s declaration is that a Democrat president someday might target guns, because it’s always about the guns for Democrats. Keep that in mind the next time one of them lies to you and says, “I support the Second Amendment.”
No, they don’t.
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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