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Victory, disaster or ‘fake’? America divided as Trump signs spending bill while declaring emergency

Victory, disaster or ‘fake’? America divided as Trump signs spending bill while declaring emergency
President Donald Trump’s decision to sign both a national emergency and a spending bill approved by Congress has divided America once more: Democrats are outraged by the emergency, while Trump Republicans hate the bill.

In a statement following the signing, the White House declared a “border security victory,” describing the Homeland Security appropriations bill as containing “a number of significant legislative victories” that will help secure the US border with Mexico. The White House also defended the emergency declaration as having a clear legal authority and following the established precedent.

Also on rt.com Trump declares national emergency over border crisis

However, the response from politicians, journalists, and regular Americans once again showed they were watching “different movies on the same screen,” as cartoonist Scott Adams once put it.

Democrats regarded the spending bill as a major victory, not the least because it gave Trump far less for funding for border barriers than he would have got last December, before a showdown with Congressional Democrats led to the 35-day government shutdown, the longest in US history.

They hated the emergency declaration, however, calling it illegitimate, illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, fake and vowing to fight it in the courts. The outrage was amplified by Twitter, with hashtags #FakeTrumpEmergency and #FakeNationalEmergency quickly trending.

Critics quickly latched onto Trump's line that he "didn't have to do this," with the American Civil Liberties Union and President Obama's former solicitor-general declaring that it would be grounds for overturning the declaration.

Republicans were equally unhappy, though. While some grumbled about the emergency, the overwhelming sentiment among Trump supporters was disdain and loathing of the spending bill, which they argued was packed with “landmines” and “poison pills” inserted by Democrats.

A number of Senate Republicans were also not impressed with the emergency declaration, with Politico quoting opposition from Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), among others.

Others, like Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) grudgingly admitted the emergency was legal but argued Congress should reassert its powers to change that.

Congress theoretically has the power to overrule Trump on the emergency, but it has never been used. The unprecedented move would require veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate, which seems unlikely even if several GOP lawmakers join forces with the Democrats.

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