State of emergency?

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State of emergency?

#1

Post by edwardmurphy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:56 am

I'm curious what people think about this issue.

Personally, I think that Trump is making a gigantic mistake, and the GOP is screwing up bigly by not reigning him in. First off, illegal immigration is lower than it has been in years, and it's trending down. Moreover, if this was a true emergency then why didn't Trump declare it the second he realized it, presumably 2 years ago? Why did he spend a couple of months waffling while waiting to see what kind of deal Congress would give him? He basically made a show of waiting to see if he got what he wanted before trying an unconstitutional end-run around Congress. It's like his number one goal prior to making the declaration was to comprehensively undermine his own argument.

Beyond that, what effect is this going to have on the future of our government? If the SCOTUS (despite supposedly supporting a strict interpretation of the Constitution) decides that Trump is right then we'll have a precedent for any future president to declare that their pet initiative (Gun control? Global warming?) is a national emergency and start stripping funds from where ever to pay for their plans.

Anyway, to me it seems like Trump has, yet again, brought us to the edge of a major crisis. Anybody else have any thoughts?

And Hortense, I recognize that you're a special snowflake, so I promise to go easy on you if you deign to reply.
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Re: State of emergency?

#2

Post by Stu » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:57 am

It's not like he's setting a precedent, Obama declared a national emergency 13 times, Clinton 17, Bush 12.

But because it is Trump people flip out and make out as if he just declared free ammo for all gun owners.
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Re: State of emergency?

#3

Post by DBowling » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:44 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:56 am
I'm curious what people think about this issue.

Personally, I think that Trump is making a gigantic mistake, and the GOP is screwing up bigly by not reigning him in. First off, illegal immigration is lower than it has been in years, and it's trending down. Moreover, if this was a true emergency then why didn't Trump declare it the second he realized it, presumably 2 years ago? Why did he spend a couple of months waffling while waiting to see what kind of deal Congress would give him? He basically made a show of waiting to see if he got what he wanted before trying an unconstitutional end-run around Congress. It's like his number one goal prior to making the declaration was to comprehensively undermine his own argument.

Beyond that, what effect is this going to have on the future of our government? If the SCOTUS (despite supposedly supporting a strict interpretation of the Constitution) decides that Trump is right then we'll have a precedent for any future president to declare that their pet initiative (Gun control? Global warming?) is a national emergency and start stripping funds from where ever to pay for their plans.

Anyway, to me it seems like Trump has, yet again, brought us to the edge of a major crisis. Anybody else have any thoughts?

And Hortense, I recognize that you're a special snowflake, so I promise to go easy on you if you deign to reply.
Ed... what goes around comes around...
If Trump's 'emergency' (which Trump admitted in public before cameras he really didn't have to do) actually survives the courts then just be patient.

As you already noted, our next President could very easily consider Global Warming or Gun Violence in our country to be national emergencies and bypass Congress and take unilateral action.
Who needs Congress when you can just declare an emergency and do whatever you want?

I am astounded that constitutional conservatives are buying into the Trumpian narrative that a Presidential Monarchy is in any way, shape, or form what the framers of the Constitution had in mind!

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Re: State of emergency?

#4

Post by RickD » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:21 pm

From what I understand, there have been 59 national emergencies declared since 1976, when President Ford started the ball rolling.

If this happened 58 times prior to President Trump doing it, how is that setting a precedent?

Even if Trump didn't do it, who's to say a future president wouldn't do it?

It seems pretty clear that Trump will use anything in his power, to get funding for the wall. And whether we agree with it or not, if it's in his power to do it...
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Re: State of emergency?

#5

Post by DBowling » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:09 pm

RickD wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:21 pm
From what I understand, there have been 59 national emergencies declared since 1976, when President Ford started the ball rolling.

If this happened 58 times prior to President Trump doing it, how is that setting a precedent?

Even if Trump didn't do it, who's to say a future president wouldn't do it?

It seems pretty clear that Trump will use anything in his power, to get funding for the wall. And whether we agree with it or not, if it's in his power to do it...
The real issue is using the 'emergency' as an excuse to reallocate funds thus sidestepping the explicit direction of Congress.
How many times has a President declared a national emergency as a ruse to subvert Congress' power of the purse?

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Re: State of emergency?

#6

Post by RickD » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:51 pm

DBowling wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:09 pm
RickD wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:21 pm
From what I understand, there have been 59 national emergencies declared since 1976, when President Ford started the ball rolling.

If this happened 58 times prior to President Trump doing it, how is that setting a precedent?

Even if Trump didn't do it, who's to say a future president wouldn't do it?

It seems pretty clear that Trump will use anything in his power, to get funding for the wall. And whether we agree with it or not, if it's in his power to do it...
The real issue is using the 'emergency' as an excuse to reallocate funds thus sidestepping the explicit direction of Congress.
How many times has a President declared a national emergency as a ruse to subvert Congress' power of the purse?
I don't know, and it's not relevant to my point. Either he's acting within the power given to him, or he isn't. If he's acting within his power, then it's tough noogies for any of us who disagree. If he's not acting within his power, then he should pay the same penalty that Hillary paid for what she did. Oh wait...

Trump ran on the campaign promise that he's going to build a wall, and Mexico is going to pay for it! And by hook or by crook, he's going to get his wall built. He's just going to get us to pay, instead of getting Mexico to pay. Small tiny distinction.

I'd vote for a president who wants universal healthcare for all Americans, if he/she can get Mexico to pay for it.

I think some presidents in the recent past have agreed that we need a wall in certain areas along the border. So Trump isn't some radical because he wants a wall. But where I vehemently disagree with him, is that he wants taxpayer money to pay for it, when he promised otherwise.
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Re: State of emergency?

#7

Post by DBowling » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:09 pm

RickD wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:51 pm
DBowling wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:09 pm
RickD wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:21 pm
From what I understand, there have been 59 national emergencies declared since 1976, when President Ford started the ball rolling.

If this happened 58 times prior to President Trump doing it, how is that setting a precedent?

Even if Trump didn't do it, who's to say a future president wouldn't do it?

It seems pretty clear that Trump will use anything in his power, to get funding for the wall. And whether we agree with it or not, if it's in his power to do it...
The real issue is using the 'emergency' as an excuse to reallocate funds thus sidestepping the explicit direction of Congress.
How many times has a President declared a national emergency as a ruse to subvert Congress' power of the purse?
I don't know, and it's not relevant to my point. Either he's acting within the power given to him, or he isn't. If he's acting within his power, then it's tough noogies for any of us who disagree.
And the courts will have to decide whether or not A President can declare an emergency as a ruse to spend money on a project that Congress has explicitly refused to authorize him to spend money on.

That hasn't been tested in court yet.

If Trump gets away with this then Congress' power of the purse means nothing, and Presidents in the future will be able to use the ruse of an emergency to bypass the constitutional power of Congress to allocate money.
If he's not acting within his power, then he should pay the same penalty that Hillary paid for what she did. Oh wait...
oh yeah... Hillary was never able to abuse the power of the Presidency because...
she never had the power of the Presidency...
:)

This will eventually make it to the Supreme Court, and whatever decision the Supreme Court eventually makes will have a significant impact on the separation of powers.

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Re: State of emergency?

#8

Post by RickD » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:29 pm

DBowling,

Please stay with us here. We don't want to have to call you the anti-ACB. Don't let your dislike of Trump start to cloud your rational thinking.
DBowling wrote:
And the courts will have to decide whether or not A President can declare an emergency as a ruse to spend money on a project that Congress has explicitly refused to authorize him to spend money on.

That hasn't been tested in court yet.

If Trump gets away with this then Congress' power of the purse means nothing, and Presidents in the future will be able to use the ruse of an emergency to bypass the constitutional power of Congress to allocate money.
That's why there are checks and balances in the govt, right?

If Trump "gets away with it", it's only because he has the power to do so.
DBowling wrote:
oh yeah... Hillary was never able to abuse the power of the Presidency because...
she never had the power of the Presidency...
Abuse the power?

Come on DBowling, stay with us here...

The way I see this moving forward is there are two possibilities here.

(1) He gets the money what he wants, and can build the wall.

(2) The checks and balances kick in, and he gets told, "Sorry Mr. President, it doesn't work that way."


In either scenario, there's no abuse of the power of his presidency.
In scenario (1), he gets what he wants, because he has been given the power to do what he did. Therefore, no abuse.

In scenario (2), he can't do what he wants, because he doesn't have the power to do that. Which means that he can't abuse power he doesn't have.

And I'd also say that if somehow, scenario (1) actually comes true, then it was always in the President's power to do what he did, and unless something changes, past and future presidents have had, and will have it in their power as President, to do what he's trying to do.

He cannot abuse power that he doesn't have. This is not a monarchy. There are checks and balances built in, so one branch doesn't get too much power.
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Re: State of emergency?

#9

Post by Philip » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:32 pm

Congress' power of the purse means nothing
While we're arguing over the nickels and dimes cost of a wall, it burns me up that we continue to rack up staggering debt without a plan to address it, to only keep ratcheting up this beast that can really hurt us - not to mention our children and grandchildren. Those in Congress that consider themselves fiscal conservatives should be screaming at the top of their lungs over this. As for progressives, they seem to think immense debt is no biggie.

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Re: State of emergency?

#10

Post by DBowling » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:51 pm

RickD wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:29 pm
The way I see this moving forward is there are two possibilities here.

(1) He gets the money what he wants, and can build the wall.

(2) The checks and balances kick in, and he gets told, "Sorry Mr. President, it doesn't work that way."

In either scenario, there's no abuse of the power of his presidency.
In scenario (1), he gets what he wants, because he has been given the power to do what he did. Therefore, no abuse.

In scenario (2), he can't do what he wants, because he doesn't have the power to do that. Which means that he can't abuse power he doesn't have.

And I'd also say that if somehow, scenario (1) actually comes true, then it was always in the President's power to do what he did, and unless something changes, past and future presidents have had, and will have it in their power as President, to do what he's trying to do.
All you have to do to support your premise is show me one time in the past when Congress refused to allocate money for something the President wanted to do, and then the President used a declaration of emergency to bypass Congress' power of the purse...

That is what Trump is trying to do here.
This is not something that former Presidents have done in the past.

As I said above, the courts will have a significant decision to make regarding separation of powers.
This is not a monarchy. There are checks and balances built in, so one branch doesn't get too much power.
Amen... and I hope the courts decide to keep it that way.

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Re: State of emergency?

#11

Post by Philip » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:32 pm

Wikipedia notes that, concerning the powers of the president under the National Emergencies Act, "Congress can undo an emergency declaration with either a joint resolution and the President's signature, or with a veto-proof (two-thirds) majority vote. Powers available under this Act are limited to the 136 emergency powers Congress has defined by law."

Here are the declared emergencies so far - many expired, some current: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_n ... ted_States

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Re: State of emergency?

#12

Post by DBowling » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:06 pm

Philip wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:32 pm
Wikipedia notes that, concerning the powers of the president under the National Emergencies Act, "Congress can undo an emergency declaration with either a joint resolution and the President's signature, or with a veto-proof (two-thirds) majority vote.
Which means if the courts let Trump get away with using a declaration of emergency to side-step Congress' power of the purse, then that means Congress in essence needs a veto-proof majority to enforce their basic constitutional authority over spending.

This move by Trump has huuuuuge implications for separation of powers between Congress and the President.

What the courts eventually decide here will have big implications for future presidents and the power of the Presidency.

Yes... this is a big deal that has implications way beyond Trump forcing taxpayers to pay for a wall that he was unable to get Mexico to pay for.


And Philip, you are right...
The national debt is an existential threat to our economy that this Congress (both parties) and this President do not give a rip about!

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Re: State of emergency?

#13

Post by edwardmurphy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:12 pm

Stu wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:57 am
It's not like he's setting a precedent, Obama declared a national emergency 13 times, Clinton 17, Bush 12.

But because it is Trump people flip out and make out as if he just declared free ammo for all gun owners.
Oh my god, Stu...

Yes, other Presidents have declared national emergencies. As a matter of fact, so has Trump. This one is his fourth. That's not news, and if you think that it is then you have no idea what's going on or why it matters and you'd do well to talk less and listen more.

We aren't alarmed because Trump declared a national emergency; that's nothing new. We're alarmed because he's transparently faking a national emergency in order to make a blatantly unconstitutional attack on the separation of powers. The President isn't a king. He's supposed to protect, uphold, and obey the Constitution of the United States of America, and that Constitution states very clearly that Congress, not the President, has the power to allocate funds.

We're even more alarmed because the Congressional GOP, by and large, is humoring him when they should be shutting him down. Their oath is to the Constitution, not to their political party and one of their responsibilities - specifically enumerated in the Constitution - is to act as a check on the Executive Branch. It's starting to look like GOP leadership is willing to accept and defend literally anything that Trump decides to do, and that's also alarming.

And finally, if Trump somehow wins in court - he shouldn't, but who knows anymore - we'd have a new political reality in which the President could circumvent Congressional oversight by declaring an emergency whenever Congress says no. Things are already pretty dysfunctional already, but that would take it to a whole new level.
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Re: State of emergency?

#14

Post by RickD » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:15 pm

DBowling wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:51 pm
RickD wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:29 pm
The way I see this moving forward is there are two possibilities here.

(1) He gets the money what he wants, and can build the wall.

(2) The checks and balances kick in, and he gets told, "Sorry Mr. President, it doesn't work that way."

In either scenario, there's no abuse of the power of his presidency.
In scenario (1), he gets what he wants, because he has been given the power to do what he did. Therefore, no abuse.

In scenario (2), he can't do what he wants, because he doesn't have the power to do that. Which means that he can't abuse power he doesn't have.

And I'd also say that if somehow, scenario (1) actually comes true, then it was always in the President's power to do what he did, and unless something changes, past and future presidents have had, and will have it in their power as President, to do what he's trying to do.
All you have to do to support your premise is show me one time in the past when Congress refused to allocate money for something the President wanted to do, and then the President used a declaration of emergency to bypass Congress' power of the purse...

That is what Trump is trying to do here.
This is not something that former Presidents have done in the past.

As I said above, the courts will have a significant decision to make regarding separation of powers.
This is not a monarchy. There are checks and balances built in, so one branch doesn't get too much power.
Amen... and I hope the courts decide to keep it that way.
My premise? Either he has the power as president to do it, or he doesn't. Either he gets the money he wants for the wall, or they tell him to pound sand.

There have been times in the past that congress has eliminated funding. Once in 1974, when congress eliminated funding to south Vietnam, which effectively ended the Vietnam war.

I have no idea if he has the power to do this. If he doesn't, then he gets it shut down.
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Re: State of emergency?

#15

Post by edwardmurphy » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:37 pm

Philip wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:32 pm
As for progressives, they seem to think immense debt is no biggie.
That's false, Phil.

Liberals want to invest in America. We want to put money into education, research and development, job training, public health, and infrastructure so that we have a secure, healthy, educated population that's ready to work at a high level and infrastructure that's adequate to the task. We want to keep America great for everybody, not just a handful of rich guys. We want to raise wages, raise taxes, and spread the wealth around so that it can work for us all. We want to follow Henry Ford's tried and true method - pay the workers more so that they can spend more in their communities, so that everybody will have more money, so that Ford can sell more cars, hire more workers, and sell more cars. That's not socialism, it's free market capitalism. A consumer economy works best when the money is out and working, not locked away in an account in the Caymans.

It's also worth noting that the idea that deficits don't matter is classic Reaganomics, that the last time we had a balanced budget it was under Bill Clinton, and that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are the reason that the deficit is so insanely high today.

The reality is that the liberals want to tax and spend (meaning invest) and the conservatives want to cut taxes and spend anyway until there's a budget crisis that they can use to justify cutting benefits for the poor. That's literally happening right now, by the way.
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