The record 35-day government shutdown has ended, at least for now. After stating that he’d be willing to keep the government shut down for “months, or even years,” President Donald Trump came out on Friday to announce that a deal had been reached to reopen the government until February 15. The move, while still rather surprising, seemed to make sense considering the signs of desperation the President had previously been showing. He had previously attempted to secure funding for the border wall in exchange for protection of DACA students; an offer that the Democrats immediately turned down.
Perhaps the most worrisome trend, however, came from the President’s threat to declare a “state of emergency” over the current “border situation.” Such a move would grant the President 123 powers contained in statutory provisions, allowing him to execute a large variety if commands all without the check of Congress. The system is meant to allow the President to act quickly during a time of emergency (we all know how quickly Congress makes decisions), however President Trump has already shown in the past he has little restraint for similar presidential powers and seems to suggest he would use it’s granted privileges to attempt to “secure the border” despite the Democrat’s opposition.
It almost seems like every now and then Trump discovers a new presidential power in his arsenal that he can then abuse. Remember when he discovered he could pardon people? He then began pardoning his own administration left and right, later alluding that he’d be able to pardon himself should it come to it. While these powers may sound like a gross disregard for our country’s system of checks and balances, it’s important to note that they typically fall under responsible use within most administrations, this one being one of the exceptions.
Trump, however, likely understands there would be serious ramifications to such a move. To say impeachment would be a possible consequence of self-pardoning or mobilizing the military to “secure the border” would be quite the understatement. That being said, the jury is still out on whether Trump would ever be willing to follow through in such a threat considering it didn’t happen this time around. That might change should Congress be unable to come to a consensus once again by the February 15 deadline. Trump called the possibility of a second shutdown “very likely,” signaling that the $15 billion lost in the shutdown and the woes of millions of government workers across the nation may not be over yet.
— Alvaro Vazquez, Volunteer Writer