Trump’s agreement to bring the U.S. government in full operation is only temporary and conditional, giving Senate up to February 15, 2019 to decide on his request for a $5.7 billion border-wall funding. What will happen, if after February 15, 2019, Trump fails to get the funding?
Upon signing the short-term funding bill, Trump still made it clear that his border-wall funding request stays on the negotiations table. If not, he will be constrained to initiate another partial government shutdown or declare a State of National Emergency. This means that if another partial shutdown happens, around 800,000 government workers will once again be without paychecks, while several badly needed government services will be suspended anew.
Now what will happen if Trump decides to use his executive power to declare a State of National Emergency?
Trump’s State of National Emergency Alternative
A U.S. President is empowered to declare a State of National Emergency under the provisions of the National Emergencies Act (NEA 50 U.S.C 1601). According to CNN, the White House is currently updating the proclamation draft that was previously prepared. The draft presents courses of action, in case Trump decides to invoke the power vested by the NEA 50 U.S.C 1601, as alternative.
The proclamation draft will have Trump declaring that
a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States….. The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency
CNN further reported that if the incumbent U.S. President uses his NEA power to obtain the border-wall funding, the related emergency actions that will be undertaken include extracting sums of budget appropriations, from the following:
National Treasury – $681 million in Forfeiture Funds
Military – $3.6 billion of construction budget
Pentagon – $3 billion in civil works funds
Department of Homeland Security $200 million in unspecified funds
Still, the NEA alternative is not a foolproof course of action, because the amended version of the Act has formally given Congress the power to exercise check-balance; along with the power to invalidate the national emergency proclamation, if found unwarranted.