China Daily Asks William C. Banks About “Trump’s Wall”

(China Daily | Jan. 9, 2019) The divide between the US administration and congressional Democrats on funding a border wall was laid bare before a national audience who followed President Donald Trump’s first televised Oval Office address and a rebuttal from two congressional leaders on Tuesday night.

“The president’s legal arguments are contentious and may be wrong.”

The speech was made at a time when the partial government shutdown headed into a third week over the budget standoff between the president and Congress.

Analysts said the impasse is going to linger, though both sides have agreed to continue talking.

In his nine-minute national address, Trump laid out his case for the wall on the southern border with Mexico, which he said is laden with “a growing humanitarian and security crisis” …

… William C. Banks, a law professor of Syracuse University College of Law, also said Trump is likely to rely on authority provided by Congress in the National Emergencies Act (1976) to declare a national emergency at the southern border, then rely on military construction statutes that may enable him to spend for wall construction without a new appropriation for that purpose.

“The president’s legal arguments are contentious and may be wrong, based on the above authorities. Congress could stop him by passing a law saying no funding for a wall, or they could limit the funds available,” he told China Daily in an email.

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