Trump makes border announcement in Rose Garden

 cbsnews.com  02/15/2019 13:11:22 

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

President Trump -- dissatisfied with the funding Congress is providing him for barriers at the southern border -- will sign the bill to fund the government and declare a national emergency to free up more funds to build his wall.

The president's decision to declare a national emergency is already facing criticism from some Republicans, and potential lawsuits. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn't rule out a legal challenge on Thursday.

Mr. Trump will address the situation at the border from the White House Rose Garden Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. The president's address can be watched in the live player above, and CBS News will also air a special report at 10 a.m.

Mr. Trump's announcement is scheduled to begin shortly, although such major events with short notice are frequently delayed.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter eviscerated the president and some of his followers on Twitter after the White House announced he would declare a national emergency.

Coulter has criticized the president in the past for failing to build the wall at the southern border.

"The goal is to get Trump's stupidest voters to say 'HE'S FIGHTING!' No he's not. If he signs this bill, it's over," she tweeted.

Before news of the president's national emergency declaration Friday morning, House Democrats were considering their response. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Democrat of New York, suggested to CBS News that the most likely path is a resolution to terminate the emergency under the National Emergencies Act.

This measure, a resolution of disapproval, would be expected to pass a Democratically-controlled House, and then under the law, it would automatically be considered in the Senate within 18 days. Nadler said that he's hoping "the Senate will do their duty to defend the Constitution against an incredible unconstitutional power grab."

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not committed to this path. She insisted all day Thursday that Democrats would review all their options before deciding how to proceed.

--Rebecca Kaplan

Mr. Trump is expected to take the podium in the White House Rose Garden in less than an hour, and White House staffers have set up chairs for reporters.

It's unclear whether Mr. Trump will take questions.

A handful of Republicans are already expressing their disappointment in Mr. Trump's decision to declare a national emergency, suggesting doing so is constitutionally questionable.

"Declaring a national emergency for this purpose would be a mistake on the part of the president," Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said, adding that a declaration undermines Congress.

"It is also of dubious constitutionality," she said.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also spoke out against the president's decision.

"We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution," Rubio said. "Today's national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal. I will wait to see what statutory or constitutional power the president relies on to justify such a declaration before making any definitive statement. But I am skeptical it will be something I can support."

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan called it an "embarrassing" day for conservatism.

"What a bad (frankly, embarrassing) day for constitutional and fiscal conservatism," Amash tweeted. "The Senate confirms Bill Barr as attorney general, congressional leaders conspire to advance a $333 billion wasteful spending bill, and @POTUS plans to declare an emergency for a non-emergency."

CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett reports the president will announce he's getting $8 billion for the border wall.

Of that funding, $1.375 billion will come from the appropriations bill Mr. Trump expects to sign.

The rest comes from executive actions -- $600 million is expected to come from the Treasury Department's drug forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion will come from the Defense Department's drug interdiction program, and an additional $3.5 billion will come from the Pentagon's military construction budget, a senior administration official told Garrett.

First published on February 15, 2019

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Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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