Nancy Pelosi slams Trump's plan to declare a national emergency to fund the border wall, argues that he should declare one on gun violence instead

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly on camera press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019.(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)House Speaker Nancy PelosiBill Clark/CQ Roll Call

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Donald Trump's plan to declare a national emergency to fund a border wall without congressional approval.
  • Pelosi said Trump's decision amounted to an "end run around Congress" and set an unwelcome precedent for lawmakers in both parties.
  • She suggested that, on the anniversary of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the president should instead declare a national emergency regarding gun violence.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Donald Trump's plan to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall without congressional approval on Thursday.

During her weekly press conference, Pelosi called Trump's claims of a crisis on the US-Mexico border an "illusion" and argued that the unusual move to bypass Congress will set an unwelcome precedent for both parties.

"If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created - an illusion that he wants to convey, just think what a president with different values can present to the American people," she said.

Pelosi went on to argue that Trump should declare a national emergency regarding the "epidemic of gun violence in America." Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

"Want to talk about a national emergency? Let's talk about today," Pelosi said, referring to the Parkland shooting. "That's a national emergency. Why don't you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would."

Pelosi warned that Republicans should consider what a Democratic president could do with the same power.

"The precedent that the president is setting here should be met with great unease and dismay by Republicans," Pelosi went on, adding that she's "not advocating for any president doing an end-run around Congress."

Read more: Trump will sign the bipartisan border-security deal and declare a national emergency to get more wall money

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Thursday that Trump will sign a bipartisan border security proposal and at the same time declare a national emergency to secure additional funding for his long-promised border wall.

"President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency - to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a Thursday statement.

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