Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said Monday that while declaring a national emergency to fund the southern border wall is well within President Trump’s presidential powers, he argued that securing the necessary funds to complete the wall is “another question.”
“I think it’s still within his complete discretion — whether he says he didn’t have to do it or not, it’s still within his discretion to decide what that definition is,” Paxton told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton in reference to Trump’s political maneuver.
The second-term attorney general added that where the president gets those unappropriated funds remains questionable because it will require congressional approval.
“What money the president uses, that’s going to be another question and he’s going to have to have congressional authority to use whatever money he ends up deciding he uses,” Paxton told Hill.TV.
President Trump declared a national emergency in an effort to bypass Congress and spend roughly $8 billion on barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump later insisted he “didn’t need to” declare an emergency but wanted “faster” action.
“On the wall, they skimped,” Trump told reporters at the time.
Trump was allocated $1.375 billion for his border wall from a funding spending deal, but that amount was well below the $5.7 billion that the president had originally requested.
A Democratic resolution blocking Trump’s declaration, meanwhile, is all but certain to pass the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump has insisted that he plans to veto the resolution if it makes it to his desk.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asserted that Democrats will not give up if Trump vetos the resolution, saying Democratic lawmakers will continue to fight him in Congress over the controversial declaration.