There would be a massive fight, however. But the government will reopen, and Democrats will have to decide whether they want to battle President Trump over a national security issue.
Trump will address the nation on the issue this evening at 9:00 pm ET.
From the Wall Street Journal:
A move by Trump to build a border wall might survive court challenges, but Congress could take steps to defund it.
One federal law states that when there is a declaration of war or a national emergency requiring the armed forces to respond, the secretary of defense can “undertake military construction projects…that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces” from the Pentagon construction budget without prior approval from Congress.
Costs for the wall likely would include not only design and
construction,but also purchase, potentially through condemnation, of private property along the border.
Still, Mr. Trump’s ability to redirect congressional appropriations this way could be short-lived. “We would look at every available [option] to stop this power from being abused, and that would range from a court challenge to changes to future appropriations bills” to block any construction of the wall, a Democratic House aide said.
Currently, $13.3 billion in the Pentagon budget may be available, according to a congressional aide, enough to cover the $5 billion that Mr. Trump is seeking for the border wall. That would have to be diverted from projects such as military housing that Congress previously authorized.