Feb. 18 (UPI) — White House adviser Stephen Miller said Sunday that hundreds of miles of a new border barrier will be constructed by 2020 and President Donald Trump will “protect” his national emergency declaration.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Miller noted 120 miles of the barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border are “already under construction or are already obligated” and anticipated a total of hundreds will be completed by September 2020.
“You’re going to see probably a couple hundred miles in time I would say by the end of the next appropriation cycle. All together in terms of what we already have underway, what’s underway right now and then what we’re going to complete,” he said.
Miller also suggested Trump would veto a planned challenge by Democrats to his emergency declaration under the National Emergencies Act and that the inclusion of such a protocol in the law implies court challenges to Trump’s declaration would fail.
“He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration — guaranteed. But the fact that they’re even talking about a resolution of disapproval shows you this is a statutory issue and a statutory delegation that Congress made,” Miller said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Congress should take action to disapprove of the national emergency declaration, which he said represents an “excessive use of executive power” and sets a “terrible precedent.”
“Presidents do have emergency powers. They can declare national emergencies. But if you look back at the history of that over the last four decades, they’ve overwhelmingly been done in the face of legitimate national security threats where there was no time or no other means of addressing them,” he said.
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, agreed the declaration set a “dangerous precedent” and would support bipartisan legislation to review and limit Trump’s emergency powers.
“Our government wasn’t designed to operate by national emergency. Unfortunately, a Congress that existed before I was born usurped some of their power, gave some of their power away to the executive branch,” he said in reference to the National Emergencies Act.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told ABC News he believes there are enough Republican votes to prevent the supermajorities in Congress required to override a presidential veto.
“I think there are plenty of votes in the House to make sure that there’s no override of the president’s veto,” Jordan said. “So it’s going to be settled in court, we’ll have to wait and see.”
A two-thirds vote by both the House and the Senate would be required to defeat a Trump veto.