House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power

A group of conservative House members is urging President Trump to use executive power to build a barrier along the southern border if he feels it is necessary to support the bipartisan border deal slated to be voted on Thursday evening.

In a letter to Trump shared exclusively with The Hill, Republican Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group MORE (Fla.), Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMueller mystery: Will he ever testify to Congress? Ohio State report documents 177 cases of sexual misconduct by team doctor Republicans defend drug company in spotlight over HIV medication prices MORE (Ohio) and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - After GOP infighting, Trump Jr. agrees to testify again On The Money: House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns | Trump touts trade talks as China, US fail to reach deal | Five things to know about Trump's trade war with China | GOP offers support for Trump on tariffs GOP offers support for Trump on China tariffs MORE (N.C.) blasted the agreement reached by senior appropriators in both chambers. The measure includes $1.375 billion to construct a physical barrier, far lower than the $5.7 billion requested by the administration.

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The conservative lawmakers argue it does not provide enough funding to secure the border.

“Thank you for your leadership efforts to protect our border. The conference committee deal is bad,” the letter reads. “It will not secure the border and will allow criminally violent aliens to be released into our country. And, in fact, there may be additional problems with the proposed ‘deal.’"

The group urged the president to declare a national emergency to secure additional funds, allowing him to utilize emergency military construction authority and “provide support for the counterdrug activities or activities to counter transnational organized crime” by building the wall.

“If you feel the need to sign the legislation we also urge you to immediately use your authority pursuant to Title X, Sections 284 and 2808, to access funds to begin building a much-needed border wall,” they continued.

“We support your use of the authority delegated to you as President by the United States Congress to use federal funds to protect the American people.”

The 1,159-page bill was released just before midnight on Wednesday. The House is slated to vote on it Thursday evening after its expected passage in the upper chamber.