McConnell won’t say how he’ll handle an emergency declaration

McConnell won’t say how he’ll handle an emergency declaration

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at the Tuesday briefing, Sept. 25, 2018, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo © 2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to say Tuesday if he would overturn an emergency declaration from President Donald Trump aimed at building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I’m going to withhold judgement on that until we see what he does,” McConnell told reporters.

Explaining that the process would be expedited and rely on a bare bones majority, McConnell noted that Congress would be in new territory if presented with such a decision.

“We‘ve not had the procedure before because the national emergencies that have been issued in the past have not been contentious,” McConnell said. “I’m pretty sure this one would be.”

Trump has demanded $5.7 billion to fund a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, but Congressional Democrats have nixed the proposal.

The impasse previously lead to a 35 day partial government shutdown, but Trump agreed in late January to fund the government until February 15 while negotiations continue.

A bicameral, bipartisan committee has been huddling in an effort to put forward an agreement on border security, but Trump has said he will not support anything that lacks a physical barrier.

Trump has publicly flirted with sidestepping Congress by declaring an emergency, claiming that he has the legal standing to do so.

McConnell has reportedly discouraged the White House from issuing a declaration, but said Tuesday that he has only discussed Congress’ potential response with the administration.

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