New York Democrat Grace Meng plans to introduce legislation in the House on Friday to prevent President Donald Trump from using a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the southern border.
Dubbed the “No Walls Act,” the bill would prohibit the construction of barriers, including fences walls and steel slats, along the U.S.-Mexico border if national emergencies are declared during government shutdowns.
“It is unconscionable that President Trump is threatening to side-step Congress and declare a fake national emergency in order to build his wall, as funding for the government and more than 800,000 federal workers hangs in the balance,” Meng said in a statement. “We must send a clear message to the President that creating this type of manufactured emergency for the sole purpose of securing an unrealistic campaign promise is unacceptable.”…
The Senate passed by unanimous consent legislation Thursday evening providing that federal workers — essential and furloughed employees — will be paid once the shutdown is over.
Federal employees are due to miss paychecks Friday, which has caused consternation in the Washington, DC, region.
Trump made his pledge in a phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as part of an effort to work out a deal to adjourn the Senate this week.
Kaine, who represents thousands of federal workers in Northern Virginia, threatened to block the adjournment resolution unless GOP leaders provided some assurance that they would be taken care of for time and paychecks missed because of the shutdown….
The Democratic-led House passed a standalone spending measure Thursday to provide funding for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and other agencies.
The House voted 244-180 to approve the clean funding measure. Twelve Republicans bucked party lines to join Democrats in voting for the bill on the floor.
The chamber then voted 243-183 to pass a separate measure to fund the Department of Agriculture and related agencies through Sept. 30, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the measure.
That bill would also allocate funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a top priority for lawmakers concerned that millions of Americans could lose access to food stamp benefits after temporary funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture runs out at the end of February.
The lower chamber is expected to vote on its final standalone spending bill to fund the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday….
Virtually every segment of the aviation industry — from airlines to airports — is ramping up pressure on lawmakers and the White House to reopen the government, suggesting that a prolonged shutdown could seriously harm passengers and business.
Air traffic controllers and other aviation industry workers reinforced the point with a rally outside the Capitol on Thursday, saying safety suffers when air traffic controllers, baggage screeners and Federal Aviation Administration technicians and inspectors are either furloughed or forced to work without pay as the shutdown enters its third week.
Beyond the obvious concern of having an air traffic controller distracted by worries about personal finances while performing a high-stress job, many are also concerned about falling behind on everything from aircraft inspections to training the next generation of air traffic controllers, since the FAA controller academy is shuttered.
Furloughs have also hit the accident investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board, blocking potential probes of one fatal small-plane crash and at least 11 other incidents….
As RedState wrote earlier, the president is now saying, “I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency, I haven’t done it yet. I may do it. If this doesn’t work out I would almost say definitely.”
It should be obvious to everyone that this is an extremely dangerous precedent to set, and such executive overreach should anger members of Congress, but apparently at least one member of Congress doesn’t see it that way. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) somehow finds this power grab an appropriate course and is shamelessly, disappointingly giving in — while giving up congressional power…
There is also the dangerous precedent that this move sets. We should not give Democrats any reason to abuse executive power upon a Democrat’s return to the White House. If President Trump sets this state with this “national emergency,” it almost guarantees that the next Democratic President will declare a “national emergency” to tackle issues like climate change. And I can assure you won’t like the steps the Democrat president takes while Republicans in Congress sit helplessly by, all because such executive overreach is part of the slippery slope they themselves not only allowed but applauded….
When asked by reporters if he was preparing to declare the border crisis a state of emergency he replied, “Perhaps.”
“Somebody would sue to stop it, but we would win that suit I believe very quickly,” he said…