WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced he is declaring a national emergency to secure funding for a border wall he has pushed for since the campaign trail.
- Photo released shows Trump signing declaration
- Trump says he expects legal challenges
- Senators Rubio, Scott differ on Trump's action
His remarks came during a nearly hour-long news conference at the Rose Garden.
"I'm going to be signing a national emergency. We're talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs," Trump said.
A photo released by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders showed Trump signing the declaration to free up money for the wall.
The president also said he would sign the spending bill voted on by Congress on Thursday. He signed it Friday.
Critics of Trump’s emergency declaration are preparing to challenge it in court and Democrats along with some Republicans are slamming his decision. Some lawmakers call his move as a violation of the Constitution.
Trump's declaration has ignited debate over the limitations on executive authority. The president disagrees with his critics that he has manufactured a crisis along the border to fulfill a campaign promise.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” he said. “We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”
The White House is aiming to find at least $8 billion to use for barriers.
Nearly $1.4 billion dollars will come from the bipartisan spending bill, which allows for 55 miles of new fencing. The White House has identified about $6.5 billion more in existing Treasury Department and Pentagon funding it plans to redirect for the construction of border fencing and barriers.
WHERE DO RUBIO, SCOTT STAND?
The two Republican U.S. senators from Florida are split on the spending and border plan.
Sen. Marco Rubio voted against the spending bill because it does not include funding for Hurricane Michael recovery. He says Trump should not declare a national emergency for the border wall, calling it a potential violation of the constitution.
Former governor and new Sen. Rick Scott voted for the spending bill and he does support the president's emergency action for a wall.
HOW DO EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS WORK?
Emergency declarations by a president have happened 32 times in the past, according to the Congressional Research Service and the federal registry.
Congress can overturn the president's declaration with a joint resolution, but President Trump could veto that like any other bill.
Congress would then need two-thirds of each chamber to override the veto.
Friday's declaration will very likely end up in the judicial branch.
The president said he expects some lower court defeats until the declaration ultimately prevails in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The high court has never overturned a national emergency declaration.