President Donald Trump has said he may pursue a national emergency to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border should negotiations over spending fail, Federal Times reported Wednesday.
“I think we might work a deal and if we don’t, I may go that route. I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want,” he told reporters Wednesday at the White House.
The report said the administration might redirect funds of the Department of Defense towards the border wall.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he warned Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that the president’s emergency declaration plan would result in “a major breach of relations between DoD and the oversight committees.”
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) cited the move’s potential impact on the Future Years Defense Program, according to the report.
“Every dollar you take out of the FYDP is a dollar you take away from readiness, sustainment — and we’re talking about medical facilities for service members, overseas [military construction], hangars for our F-22s,” said Schatz, a ranking member of the Senate Appropriation Committee’s military construction and veterans affairs subcommittee.