ROANOKE - House Democrats announced an immediate investigation into President Trump's national emergency declaration Friday evening.
President Trump made the declaration Friday to unlock billions of dollars in federal funds to build a wall on the southern border.
The move bypasses Congress after lawmakers refused to meet his multi-billion dollar request for border wall funds. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have criticized or expressed concern about the president's plan to move forward with a national emergency.
Locally, the reactions are politically divided. Local Republicans expressed support, while Democrats questioned the move.
"It's an invasion! We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country,” Trump said in a speech Friday at the Rose Garden.
There have been 58 national emergencies called by presidents since 1979. Thirty-one of those national emergencies are still in effect.
10 News political analyst Ed Lynch said the rules on what actually constitutes a national emergency are really, really “not clear." He said Trump is in his right authority to give the order.
“The difference between this declaration and some of the previous declarations is it has a direct bearing on federal government appropriations of money,” Lynch said.
“Whether or not it represents a national crisis is truly in the eye of the beholder. I don't think anyone along the border who has been a victim of what is going on there would have any doubt about that. The Border Patrol is one the side of the president about this. I would think they would have some knowledge about the situation,” said Lynch.
Politicians on both sides remain divided.
“Friday's declaration of a national emergency is going to get the president some considerable opposition from Republicans. If there is a vote on whether or not to endorse this in the Senate, with the Republican majority, I'm not sure it will pass. There are a number of Republican senators who are very uncomfortable with this,” Lynch said.
Locally, Rep. Morgan Griffith voiced his support on Twitter.
“This declaration will help prevent the illegal trafficking into our country of deadly drugs, the illegal and inhuman trafficking of sex slaves," Griffith said.
Sen. Tim Kaine said he questions the president's move of redirecting money from the Department of Defense to build the border wall.
"The safety and well-being of our forces and their families is the supreme responsibility of every commander in the military; it should be no different for the commander-in-chief,” Kaine said.
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