Republicans and President Trump have offered several deals and compromises that would reopen the federal government and secure the border, but Democrats have rejected all of them.
Well as it turns out Trump doesn’t need the Democrats or to declare a national emergency to build the wall.
Trump and Republicans can use 10 USC 274/284, which would allow the construction of fencing without congressional approval.
10 USC 274/284 would allow for fence construction without a national emergency.
10 USC 274/284 states:
a) The Secretary of Defense may, in accordance with other applicable law, make Department of Defense personnel available for the maintenance of equipment for Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement officials, including equipment made available under section 372  of this title.
(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and in accordance with other applicable law, the Secretary of Defense may, upon request from the head of a Federal law enforcement agency, make Department of Defense personnel available to operate equipment (including equipment made available under section 372 1 of this title) with respect to—
(A) a criminal violation of a provision of law specified in paragraph (4)(A);
(B) assistance that such agency is authorized to furnish to a State, local, or foreign government which is involved in the enforcement of similar laws;
(C) a foreign or domestic counter-terrorism operation; or
(D) a rendition of a suspected terrorist from a foreign country to the United States to stand trial.
The law indicates that the Secretary of Defense can use the Department of Defense for the “maintenance of equipment for Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement officials.” Meaning the Army and military servicemen could legally be ordered to build the wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
It would also be much more difficult for Democrats to challenge the decision in court if Trump took this option.
Or the president can just go the national emergency route. Which he has full authority to do so.
House Armed Service Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA, said over the weekend that president Trump has the full authority to use the U.S. military to build the border wall.
During an interview, Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Adam Smith had to admit that the president does have the legal authority to declare a national emergency and use the military to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
“Does President Trump have the ability, have the authority to declare a national emergency and have the military build his wall?” host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“Well, unfortunately, the short answer is yes. There is a provision in the law that says the president can declare an emergency,” Smith began, with Stephanopoulos visibly not pleased with the answer at all.
“It’s been done a number of times, but primarily it’s been done to build facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, where is the emergency? You have to establish that in order to do this. Beyond that, this would be a terrible use of Department of Defense dollars,” Smith continued.
He added: “The president spends most of his time talking about how we’re not spending enough on national security, now he wants to take $20 billion out of defense budget to build a wall. Which by the way, is not going to improve our border security. The president seems unaware of this, but we have actually already built a wall across much of the border, and all border security experts that I talk to say, where a wall makes sense, it’s already been built. We should have a conversation about border security, but first, we should we open the government and pay our border patrol agents and the federal agents that are furloughed.”
Trump wants at least $5 billion in funding for the wall amid the government shutdown, which has lasted over a month now.
Last month, House Republicans voted 217-185 to approve a measure that would keep the government open and allocate $5.7 billion for border wall funding.
The bill is now waiting a full vote in the Senate, where lawmakers are hashing it out over funding for border security.
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