Volume 34
Issue 3
Spring '20

The Executive's Power of the Purse in National Emergency: The President's Plan  to Poach Defense Funds to Build the Wall

Written By: Jacqueline Lewis


President Donald Trump made the promise to “build a wall” between the United States and Mexico a staple of his 2016 presidential campaign. And since his election, a key part of the Trump Administration’s executive agenda has been to fulfill that promise. But after failing to receive the desired funding for the wall’s construction, the President now seeks to proceed “with or without Congress.” Usurping congressional authority, the President has declared the situation at the southern border a “national emergency” that “requires the use of the Armed Forces, triggering statutory emergency powers that allow him to redirect defense funds for “military construction” to use for construction of the wall. In doing so, Trump has abused his executive authority to further his policy goals and poached Congress’s power of the purse. A citizen coalition has since challenged President Trump’s reprogramming plan, but the Supreme Court will allow it to go into effect, pending appeal.

This current development will detail the President’s plan to redirect constitutional appropriations toward the construction of the border wall, discuss one case challenging the President’s actions, and analyze the issues animating the courts’ decisions and the significance of their pending appeals.

Continue Reading The Executive’s Power of the Purse in National Emergency: The President’s Plan to Poach Defense Funds to Build the Wall

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