National Emergency

AP US Government and Politics

What portion of Americans approve of Donald J. Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to build a wall?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Describe public opinion of the Trump Emergency Declaration?

  3. How do you think public opinion on the emergency declaration varies by party affiliation?*

  4. Why do you think the public feels that way about Trump’s national emergency Declaration funding a border wall?

  5. Who does the U.S. Constitution empower to fund things such as interstate highways, n.A.S.A., and border walls?

  6. Does Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution give the president the power to go against the Congress’ wishes and fund a border wall?

  7. President Trump’s power to declare a national emergency and build a wall comes from 33 U.S. Code § 2293 - Reprogramming during national emergencies and 10 U.S. Code § 2808 - Construction authority in the event of a declaration of war or national emergency. Based on your reading of these two short section of the U.S. Code, does Trump’s declaration of an emergency fall within the meaning of that code?

  8. You just made a claim about Trump’s power to declare a national emergency. What institution gets to make a claim about this which carries the rule of law?

  9. There are a number of things Congress could do to stop Trump. What is the most likely thing the Senate and House could do about Trump‘s declaration of a national emergency?

  10. The power of the purse (funding) is a Congressional power laid out in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. COnstitution. The Congress has repeatedly refused to fund a wall. By declaring a national emergency and funding a border wall, president Trump is taking away the funding from congress and giving it to himself. What does this action do to checks and balances?

  11. According to James Madison in Federalist No. 51, Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. Whose ambition is currently counteracting trump’s ambition?

  12. List the top three national emergencies that America faces:

  13. If you had to rank the border, in terms of national emergencies, how high would it rank?

  14. When Americans are asked to name the top national emergencies how high does the border wall rank?*

  15. Explain whether there is a connection between Trump taking such unpopular positions as declaring the border an emergency and his low public approval ratings?

  16. clearly, the president is taking a highly unpopular action. In your opinion, Explain whether this means that Trump is a strong or a weak leader.

  17. explain whether taking such a highly unpopular position makes Trump more of a trustee, delegate, or Politico.

  18. During two years of a Republican controlled Congress, POTUS Trump was not able to convince the legislature to fund his wall, Nor was he able to convince the public of the importance of the wall. Why do you think that is?

  19. President Trump is very good at convincing people of things they already believe in. He has been less successful at convincing people who don’t already agree with him. Explain whether successful presidents (or politicians) are able to convince people to change their minds. Support your argument with examples from american political history.

  20. The House and Senate have rejected the president’s requests for spending for the wall. Many Senators from his own party have publicaly opposed his national emergency declaration. Explain whether you believe the Congress will stop him?

  21. There are already a number of legal challenges to the national emergency Declaration (hear the list below). Where will these challenges ultimately end up and how do you think the SCOTUS will rule on this issue?

VISUAL Extension*


Action Extension

Contact your member of Congress and let them know what you think about Trump’s Declaration.

Our World In Data Extension

Shutdown the wall or the government?

WHat Percent of Americans think that, “President Trump should not compromise on the border wall even if it means a government shutdown.”?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does the data tell?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. Describe two consequences of this.

  5. How does party affiliation impact opinion on this issue?

  6. If you had to choose, “President Trump should compromise on the border wall to prevent gridlock,” or, “President Trump should not compromise on the border wall even if it means a government shutdown.” Which would you choose and why?

  7. Respond to this scenario: President Trump personally wants to shut down the government if that’s what it takes to build his wall, but after he reads the poll results above he decides that the people have spoken and he should not build his wall if it risks shutting down the government. Explain whether this action make him more of a trustee or a delegate.

  8. REspond to the following scenario. Trump builds his wall which adds billions of dollars to the national debt. What would a fiscal conservative say about this?

  9. Explain how shutting down the government in order to build the wAll is an example of checks and balances.

  10. What specific Constitutional presidential power allows the president to Build a Border wall?

  11. What specific Constitutional presidential power allows the president to shut down the government?

  12. What specific Constitutional Congressional power allows the congress to fund a Border wall?

  13. What specific Constitutional Congressional power allows the Congress to shut down the government?

  14. President Trump, Vice President Pence, Senate Leader Schumer, and (probable future) Speaker of the House Pelosi met in the White house to discuss the potential border wall funding impasse and government shutdown. At the meeting, Donald trump said, "I'll be the one to shut it down. I will take the mantle. And I will shut it (The Government) down for border security." IF the government is shut down who do you think will be blamed?

  15. Claim: after meeting with donald trump about the government shut down, Nancy Pelosi said, "This Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum he seems to want to throw, will not get him his wall," Based on what you know about American government and politics, explain whether you believe that she is correct.

  16. Describe How political party affiliation impact views on the border wall/government shutdown.

  17. In general, how do Americans think President trump is doing on immigration and border policy?*

  18. In general, how do YOu think President trump is doing on immigration and border policy?

Visual Extension

Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 3.35.54 PM.png

Video Extension

Learning Extension

Scroll down to page 9 to read the full results of the poll.

Action Extension

Contact President Trump or (probable) Speaker of the House Pelosi, or Senate Majority Leader Schumer and let them know your opinion on this issue. Share your results in class or online.