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Trump's border wall drama is not over. This is just a break



W In airports maintained with angry passengers, republican senators accused each other of closed doors of government interruption, and President Trump's voting numbers refueled, writing was on the wall. Born pressure from his fellow Republicans to reopen the government, Trump announced on Friday afternoon that an agreement was reached for federal employees to return to work, as border security negotiations were given a little more time.

A week ago, the White House was stuck to its demand: parts of the government will remain shuttered until democratic legislators write a $ 5.7 billion check for a border wall. Trump's surrender (and not a mistake, it was a surrender) is a complete reversal of the White House's position and a blowout winner of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., In his first month back at work.

However, Trump remained defiant. At the same time, he asked lawmakers to work together for the benefit of the nation, he threatened to use the nuclear solution if Congress could not find a solution. "I have a very powerful alternative, but I wouldn't use it at this time," Trump said in White House Rose Garden. "Hopefully it will be unnecessary."

The "very powerful alternative" Trump refers to is a statement of national emergency, a proclamation that would allow him to get his border wall money without having to go through the normal legislative process. Normally, the executive branch is constitutionally excluded from using any taxable money on any program unless Congress explicitly authorizes and disposes of the funds. Without declaring war or approving the use of military force, the ability to use funds, or not, the Legislative Department is the most sought after power.

Lawmakers from both political parties protect the power of the purse with each fiber of their being, because it is one of the few tactics that Congress can employ to push the president. Trump's statement of a national emergency would tear that power away. If lawyers in the executive department claim that there is actually a serious national emergency along the southwestern border with Mexico, billions of dollars in the military construction budget will be made available to the Trump border structure so desperately. Trump could give up Army Corps of Engineers to start building immediately.

Democrats who are so strongly opposed to a border wall as Trump is enchanted by it would not be powerless spectators if the president tried to make an end-round around the congress. They were technically forbidden to spend money on building a border barrier through legislation, even though the GOP opposition would probably kill it. They could file a lawsuit against Trump and argued that his emergency declaration is not an emergency but rather an instigation of an artificial crisis to justify an unjustified project.

A lawsuit would work itself through the judicial system and settle in the Supreme Court, where the case could prove to be one of the most important executive attempts since the battle for military commissions in the George W. Bush era. The border wall could become a proxy war between the administrative and legislative branches, a classic battle over the constitutional authority which the courts had to clarify. If Trump loses that fight, the precedent will put it in, affecting the presidents' flexibility in the future to get their emergency forces.

Trump may decide that a national emergency is too big of a step. House Freedom Caucus, Trump's most reliable support base on Capitol Hill, has already asked if an emergency proclamation is a smart idea. Legislators such as Freedom Caucus President Mark Meadows are concerned that a statement could now give a future democratic president the power to do something similar to progressive priorities such as climate change. The White House can play on another government's interruption, perhaps believing the public would blame the Democrats for being too obstructive this time.

Whether three-week government opening should not be celebrated as a major breakthrough. The end of the longest decommissioning in history may prove to be the interruption of the most careless other act.

Daniel DePetris ( @DanDePetris ) is a contributor to the Washington Exam Beltway Confidential blog. His opinions are his own.

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