Chuck Schumer Wants Emergency Over Climate Change After Donald Trump's for 'Stupid Wall'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called on President Joe Biden to declare a national emergency in order to tackle climate change and criticized former President Donald Trump's previous use of the measure.

Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday that Biden should declare a climate emergency and followed up on Twitter. Other Democrats have made similar calls in the past but not one as senior as Schumer.

"Now, Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn't an emergency," Schumer said. "But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one. So I would suggest that they explore looking at climate as an emergency, which would give them more flexibility."

Trump declared a national emergency and diverted tens of billions of dollars from the defense budget to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden stopped further construction of the border wall with an executive order on his first day in office.

Schumer explained that if Biden declared an emergency he could "do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that wouldn't have to go through ... that he could do without legislation."

The Senate is divided 50-50, which may make passing ambitious climate legislation difficult, though Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the deciding vote in any deadlock.

Great to have @SenSchumer on @maddow joining the call for President Biden to declare a climate emergency. "Trump used it for a stupid wall, which wasn't an emergency. If there ever was an emergency, climate is it." pic.twitter.com/UDevVEzOu4

— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) January 26, 2021

Declaring an emergency could allow the president to take more decisive action on his own but the move would likely be challenged in court. However, the Trump administration prevailed at the Supreme Court over its emergency declaration and redirection of funds.

"President Biden should declare a national emergency on the climate crisis," Schumer wrote on Twitter. "Donald Trump declared some fake emergency for his ineffective, wasteful wall. That wasn't an emergency. If there was ever an emergency, the climate crisis is an emergency."

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) welcomed Schumer's comments on Twitter, sharing a clip from the Maddow interview and adding: "Great to have @SenSchumer on @maddow joining the call for President Biden to declare a climate emergency."

Schumer also told Maddow that he would not let Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) impose terms on the Democratic majority. The two have been trying to work out a power sharing agreement.

"We will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do. Period. And these first five days have shown that. And as I said, my caucus is totally united from one end to the other that we're not letting him go forward," Schumer said.

The White House has been asked for comment on this article.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters during a brief press availability with new Democratic Senators at the U.S. Capitol on January 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Schumer has called on President Joe Biden to consider declaring a climate emergency. Drew Angerer/Getty Images