US President Donald Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his planned border wall with Mexico, the White House has said.
He will sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown, but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said.
Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a “gross abuse of power” and a “lawless act”, the BBC reported on Friday.
The Congress passed the bill on Thursday which does not meet Trump’s demands for wall funding. It now has to be signed by the President to become law.
The compromise legislation passed by Congress includes $1.3 billion in funding for border security, including physical barriers, but it does not allot money towards the border wall for which Trump had wanted $5.7 billion.
“The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.
She added he would “take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border”.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, however, Republican leader Mitch McConnell indicated his support for the move, saying the President was taking action with “whatever tools he can legally use to enhance his efforts to secure the border”.
In a 83-16 vote, the Senate on Thursday passed the border security bill. The House of Representatives later also backed the measure, by 300 to 128.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already suggested a legal challenge from Democrats should the President make an emergency declaration.
She and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also issued a joint statement condemning the move.
“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” they said.
Republicans fear this will set a precedent for presidential power that Democrats can someday use to circumvent the will of Congress. (IANS)
Owing to lack of time and competing demands, one-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers, says a new report.
The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television, according to the report from California-based non-profit RAND Corporation.
“A lack of time and competing demands may explain why a third of Americans turn to news sources they deem less reliable, which suggests improving the quality of news content or teaching people how to ‘better consume’ news isn’t enough to address ‘Truth Decay,'” said Jennifer Kavanagh, senior political scientist and co-author of the report.
“Media companies and other news providers may need to provide more easily accessible and digestible ways for individuals to consume high quality investigative journalism”.
“Truth Decay” is a phenomenon defined as diminishing reliance on facts, data and analysis in public life.
The report draws from a national survey of 2,543 Americans to examine how reliability, demographics and political partisanship factor into news choices and how often people seek out differing viewpoints in the news.
About 44 per cent of respondents reported that news is as reliable now as in the past, while 41 per cent said it has become less reliable and 15 per cent – mostly women, racial and ethnic minorities and those without college degrees – said it is more reliable.
Respondents who lean on print and broadcast platforms were more likely to deem them reliable.
Those who rely on social media and peers for news, on the other hand, don’t see those platforms as reliable yet still choose to get their news from these sources.
“The findings suggest that perceived reliability is not the only factor that drives what Americans choose as their go-to news sources,” said Michael Pollard, a sociologist and lead author of the report.
“Despite acknowledging that there are more reliable sources for news, people with demands on their time may be limited to using less reliable platforms.”
Asked whether they ever seek out alternate viewpoints when catching up on the news, 54 per cent said they “sometimes” do, 20 percent said, “always or almost always,” 17 per cent said “infrequently,” and 9 percent said, “never or almost never.”
The report also identified the four most common combinations of news media types consumed by Americans: print publications and broadcast television, online, radio, and social media and peers.
Those who are college-educated were less likely to get their news from social media and peers, instead opting for radio and online sources.
Those with less than a college education were more likely to report “never or almost never” seeking out news with alternate viewpoints.
“Those who are married were three times more likely than singles to rate their peers as the most reliable source for news,” said the report.