Donald Trump realized it was now or never.
Democrats have planned to block funding for his proposed border wall forever.
So the President stepped up and did the one thing that sent Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi running for their lives.
The government shutdown is now in its third week.
And Democrats show no signs of yielding.
President Trump surveyed the situation and saw that negotiations were hopeless unless he threw a wildcard into the mix.
At a press briefing last week, Trump answered a question from ABC’s Terry Moran and said he was considering using the 1976 National Emergencies Act to declare a state of emergency and use the military to build the border wall.
“We can call a national emergency because of the security … I haven’t done it. I may do it but we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly,” Trump told reporters.
After Democrats refused to budge during meetings over the weekend, the White House began to shift its public posture.
President Trump announced he would travel to Texas to visit the border.
And then Trump played his ace in the hole.
Trump requested all the main broadcasting networks to reserve airtime for a primetime Oval Office address regarding the crisis at the border.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern,” Trump stated.
Of course, all the network executives hate Trump and oppose his agenda.
They spent all day Monday hemming and hawing about whether they would grant the President’s request.
But ultimately they did grant Trump’s request because the network executives realized if they didn’t, it would confirm all of Trump’s attacks on them as being the opposition party media.
Trump’s allies and top administration officials began preparing for the military to build the wall.
Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen both hammered home the point that the situation at the Southern border – where thousands of migrants are showing up each day demanding asylum into the United States – had reached crisis levels.
Fox News host Sean Hannity also went on his radio show and predicted President Trump would declare a state of emergency.
“I’m guessing he’s going to declare a national emergency,” Hannity predicted. “In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge . . . [but for the] victims of crime happening in this country, that should be enough of a national emergency.”
Under U.S. law, Trump is allowed to direct the Secretary of the Army to “reprogram” – or redirect – the military’s budget for “authorized civil works, military construction and civil defense projects that are essential to the national defense.”
Even the New York Times reported that experts believe Trump has the authority to declare a state of emergency and use the military to build the wall.
“But I think that it’s possible that the president could declare a national emergency and then rely on authority Congress has historically granted for exigencies to free up some funds to support constructing a barrier along the border,” Syracuse University law professor William Banks told the Times.
And there is an emergency at the Southern border.
So if Congress refuses to act to stop the caravan, Trump will have no choice but to use his lawful authority to build the wall.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.