After Wallace asked Miller whether he thought Trump's declaration of a national emergency to build a southern border wall was unconstitutional, the senior adviser responded that Trump was permitted to do that under the National Emergencies Act of 1976. The declaration is believed to be a retaliation against Congress for failing to meet his request for upwards of $5.7 billion, in addition to the $1.38 billion he has already been granted, to build the border wall. Trump plans to tap more than $8 billion in government funds authorized for other projects the build the wall, although lawsuits challenging the action are already being filed to block his transfer of money.
"This is the first time a President has tried to declare an emergency when Congress explicitly rejected funding for the particular project that the president is advocating", House Democratic Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said it was unclear whether there would be enough members of Congress to override a presidential veto, but that there were many senators alarmed by the emergency declaration. "But the fact that they're even talking about a resolution of disapproval shows you this is a statutory issue and a statutory delegation that Congress made", Miller said.
The promise of legal challenges to Trump's emergency declaration came nearly immediately. "I could do the wall over a longer period of time", Trump said Friday during a hyperbole-filled Rose Garden speech.
"The president has no inherent authority to declare emergencies to override appropriations laws and other laws enacted by Congress; his emergency powers are defined and limited by statute", the lawsuit notes.
A third lawsuit was filed against the Department of Justice for failing to provide documents, such as legal opinions, relating to the emergency declaration.
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But one of the President's closest congressional allies, Rep. Jim Jordan of OH, predicted that Trump's critics would not be able to put together a two-thirds majority in each chamber of Congress to override any presidential veto.
"I'll go in and review that analysis now that the emergency has been declared", Shanahan said. "We can't second-guess it", said John Eastman, a professor of constitutional law at the Chapman University School of Law.
And we also know what an emergency is and this ain't it, chief.
Miller cited a "crisis" at the border with an "increasing number of people crossing the border".
Miller flatly rejected suggestions that Trump's national emergency decree was unconstitutional, even after Wallace read out Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution, which reads in part: "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in effect of appropriations made by law".
On CNN, Senator Sherrod Brown of OH, a potential Democratic candidate for president in 2020, put it another way, referring to a familiar Trump promise from the campaign trail last time out.
One of the bedrock principles of the Constitution is a curtailed power of the executive and furthermore, a necessary separation of powers.
What we need at the border isn't a wall to keep a handful of people from attempting to enter illegally.