After a bipartisan vote on border security legislation, senators appeared split over President Donald Trump’s plan to declare a national emergency, allowing him to build more of his border wall. (Feb. 14)
WASHINGTON – There’s always a tweet.
In 2014, President Donald Trump railed against then President Barack Obama over his use of executive power on immigration. Fast forward five years and Trump is expected to do the same thing.
“Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress,” Trump said in a tweet on Nov. 20, 2014.
Trump is now planning to use his executive powers in declaring a national emergency to obtain additional funds for a wall along the southern U.S. border. The White House announced Thursday he would make the declaration after signing a bipartisan funding bill that will provide $1.375 billion for a 55-mile border barrier – much less than the $5.7 billion that Trump has demanded. The funding bill would prevent the government from shutting down as it did in December, spurring the longest-ever shutdown on record.
The move will allow Trump to sidestep Democratic opposition to get more wall funding, but it could draw legal challenges from lawmakers and others who viewed the move as a power grab and something that violates the Constitution.
In 2014, Trump seemed to have similar beliefs.
His tweet attacking Obama for using executive authority on immigration specifically targeted an executive order that shielded up to 5 million immigrants from deportation and bolstered protections for “DREAMers,” people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Although the positions were reversed, Obama was also frustrated by a lack of congressional action for what he viewed as a broken immigration system.
Obama’s order followed an impasse with the Republicans in Congress, who during elections that month took control of both the Senate and House. The White House at the time said allow Obama’s orders were steps to “fix our broken immigration system.”
Trump was far from alone in attacking Obama in 2014.
Republicans blasted the former president for acting unilaterally, and the Supreme Court ultimately struck down the plan in 2016.
Even Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, denounced Obama’s decision.
Speaking on a Republican Governors Association panel in 2014, Pence attacked the idea of using presidential powers to act unilaterally in the face of congressional opposition.
The then governor of Indiana said that “barnstorming around the country defending” such measures was “not leadership.” Leadership, he argued, came with negotiating and finding “common ground.”
Pence said Obama’s order was a “profound mistake” and said he didn’t believe that the president should be able to “overturn American immigration law with the stroke of a pen.”
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