AIN Update

On Jan. 7 of this year, the American Institutions Network
posted an AIN Update in response to the
president’s initial proposal to declare a national emergency to fund the
construction of a wall along America’s southern border. At that time we noted:
“The use of a national emergency declaration, as permitted by the National
Emergencies Act of 1974, has historically been limited to situations involving
acts of war or actual threats to national security. Never has a national
emergency been declared in response to Congress’s hesitancy to fund an
administration’s priority.”

Should the president, in fact, declare a national emergency,
it will be yet another disruption to our governing norms. For many months, our
national legislature has specifically chosen not to enact law for the
construction of a wall. Indeed, the longest government shutdown in history was
sparked by this very dispute. Nevertheless, it appears the president will flout
Congress and act unilaterally.

Particularly dispiriting are those in Congress who support
this action
, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Building the wall
without express legislative authorization marks only the latest instance of
Congress abdicating its power and failing to exercise its authority within our
constitutional system.

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