Trump’s Latest Emergency Declaration is More Legislative Sidestepping

Garrett Summers | @g_summ300 

President Trump was supposed to be the deal striking president that could get things done. Instead, he has sidestepped the deal-making process and used emergency declarations twice to get what he wants. After negotiating with House Democrats, President Trump signed an emergency declaration to boost funding for his border wall project. Now, the president has signed another emergency declaration in order to push an arms deal to Saudi Arabia. The president did sign into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but this was with a Republican supermajority. So far, I have been disappointed in the president’s ability to govern conservatively and strike deals that shrink the size of the federal government or reduce the budget deficit.

Trump Loses on Immigration

The President was steadfast in his need for $5 billion for the border wall, so much so that the longest government shut down in US history happened because of it. In the end, the Democrats only gave him just over $1 billion. There was a deal on hand earlier in negotiations that gave the President $25 billion for his wall project, in return a pathway to citizenship had to be set up for DACA recipients (dreamers). It appeared to me that the president overplayed his hand during the Republican supermajority. Now that Democrats control the House of Representatives, the president was forced to accept the smaller amount and then sign an emergency declaration to reallocate $8 billion from other programs to the border wall project. The president’s emergency declaration was to recoup some losses from overplaying his hand.

Trump Cries Emergency, Again

The Trump Administration has announced another emergency declaration, this time to sell arms to Saudi Arabia without the consent of Congress. The administration claims that Saudi Arabia needs these arms now to update older, out-of-date equipment in order to stand up to Iran. Iran, a nation hostile to the US, continues to aggressively expand its sphere of influence in the Middle East.  If an arms deal is in the best interests of the US and its allies, then a negotiation to sell these arms should’ve been brought up so that Congress could make the decision. This outcome could have been avoided but Mr. President would rather sidestep negotiating with Congress.

The president is continuing to unwaveringly support Saudi Arabia despite rising apprehensions with Saudi Arabia’s recent actions. The president had to veto a bill that would restrict support of Saudi Arabia’s coalition in Yemen. Saudi Arabia also lost the good graces of the American people and the international community when the story broke that a Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the death of dissenting reporter Jamal Khashoggi. Despite these issues the president continues to support Saudi Arabia unconditionally. The president has used executive powers to ensure that the US continues to support Saudi Arabia despite that stance being unpopular in Congress. The president should allow our elected lawmakers the ability to decide the issues they are entitled to legislate and work with them, instead of using executive powers to undermine Congress’s lawmaking powers.


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