Why Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency freaks out Republicans

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Washington( CNN) As the Feb. 15 deadline looms for Congress to reach an agreement on border-security funding, there is renewed optimism for a potential bargain.

A possible agreement also doesn’t mean the President won’t end up declaring a national emergency to secure the kind of money he really wants to build a wall, particularly if the bill Congress sends him falls this short of the $5.7 billion he’d demanded in the first place. While Trump has at times seemed intrigued by the idea of declaring a national emergency, Republicans in Washington aren’t so thrilled by it.

That’s because doing so could set off a chain of events on Capitol Hill that risks splitting the Republican conference, undercutting other parts of Trump’s agenda and likely opening the administration’s actions to legal challenges. It would also offer a clarifying moment that Republicans on the Hill have managed to avoid since Trump took office — casting an up or down vote on whether to build the full-scale wall Trump desires.

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