CONGRESS/GOP/OBAMA/SPENDING/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Outraged House Republicans sued President Barack Obama in 2014 for spending billions of federal dollars without congressional approval — and won. Now many House and Senate Republicans could side with President Trump for doing what they saw as a grave abuse of power by Mr. Obama — circumventing an unwilling Congress in a spending dispute. The power of the purse is paramount for Congress. The constitutional edict that ‘no money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law’ gives Congress the upper hand over the executive branch when it comes to how federal funds are allocated and disbursed. The president can veto spending bills if he is dissatisfied, but is not supposed to rewrite them or defy Congress and spend money in ways it did not approve. Many in both parties now say that the presidential decision to act unilaterally and fund construction for a border wall via an emergency declaration would establish a dangerous new model, encouraging presidents thwarted by Congress to simply cite such a crisis to spend dollars however and wherever they pleased.”

Carl Hulse, “In Wielding Emergency Powers, Trump Paves a Dangerous Path Forward,” The New York Times online, February 15, 2019