Congress has reached a deal that would give the President a small portion of the $5.7 billion he requested as a down payment for the wall on our southern border. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) has recommended the President sign the CR, then immediately declare a national emergency in order to apply more funds to the wall.
He then said the President should also invoke 10 U.S.C. 284 on top of all that. This is identical to what we recommended yesterday:
That means accepting the continuing resolution being offered by Congress. While the exact details haven’t been made public, it appears that there will be around $1.3 billion made available for “border barriers.” Assuming that doesn’t place restrictions on what can be built (we don’t need to spend money on Nancy Pelosi’s worthless “Normandy barriers“), then there’s room to get wall construction going.
It also means he needs to immediately invoke 10 U.S.C. 284 with nearly a billion dollars available to have the military start building the wall in areas designated by law enforcement to be most vulnerable to drug trafficking and organized crime. We’ve been pushing for this for a month now, and even though it should have been done back then before or during the government shutdown, now is better than never.
Finally, the President should declare a national emergency and start using that portion of the U.S. Code to start building the wall as soon as it clears legal and bureaucratic hurdles. Yes, there will be major hurdles, which is why we’ve been opposed to it as the primary method through which the President gets the wall built. But if he does it in conjunction with the CR and 10 U.S.C. 284, those two things can be building the wall while his national emergency makes its way though the courts.
One thing to remember is that the President is not obligated to accept the deal, nor is he obligated to keep the government from shutting down again. There are those who say the Senate will turn on him if he allows another government shutdown, but that isn’t likely to happen. However, at this stage it’s unlikely the President wouldn’t take the deal even if he and most conservatives don’t like it.
The border is in a crisis. Denying that would be denying reality, which is why conservatives who would normally be against executive overreach are supporting the President on this one, including the House Freedom Caucus. That includes us as well. Build the darn wall!