Graham: Time for Trump to declare national emergency for border wall

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Congress eyes killing controversial surveillance program Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE should declare a national emergency so he could build the U.S.-Mexico border wall after last-ditch negotiations in the Senate fell apart.
 
“It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier. I hope it works," Graham said in a statement.
ADVERTISEMENT

Graham's decision to throw his support behind the president declaring migration at the southern border a national emergency follows remarks earlier this week when he told reporters that it should be the "last resort" and is not the "preferred route."

But negotiations led by Graham involving moderate GOP senators that would have paired an immigration fix with border wall funding unraveled on Thursday, with senators blaming an unwillingness by Trump and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Stone judge under pressure over calls for new trial MORE (D-Calif.) to reach an agreement.

Graham knocked Pelosi in his statement saying her refusal to consider the border wall even if Trump fully reopened the government "virtually ends the congressional path to funding for a border wall/barrier."

Trump is flirting with declaring a national emergency as talks with congressional leadership have hit a roadblock.

But the idea has sparked pushback from some Republicans on Capitol Hill who warn it will spark a lengthy court battle and set a precedent for a future Democratic president to use the declaration to leapfrog congressional Republicans.

Graham separately told reporters on Thursday that Congress could try to block Trump's declaration if he uses that option to end the partial shutdown, which is impacting roughly a quarter of the federal government.

“If he goes down that route, apparently under the statute the House can take up a privileged motion [and] disapprove the declaration,” Graham said. “It comes over here, Senate Democrats can insist we vote on it. And if you get a majority to disapprove it doesn’t go forward.”