Republicans are increasingly concerned that President Trump’s threat to build a border wall by declaring a national emergency might be repeated by a future president who sees climate change as an existential danger to the United States.

A number of Republicans, including Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Marco Rubio of Florida, expressed dismay at the potential reverberations of issuing an emergency order to achieve a political victory.

“We have to be careful about endorsing broad uses of executive power,” Rubio said Wednesday on CNBC. “If today the national emergency is border security, tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change.”

Democrats and Republicans have been clashing for three weeks — the length of the partial government shutdown — over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding. Neither side is showing signs of a compromise, prompting Trump to intensify his rhetoric about violence along the U.S.-Mexico border while pushing closer to an emergency declaration that would empower him to build a wall using the military.

“If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it,” Trump said yesterday of declaring a disaster, before flying to Texas for publicized meetings along the border. “I would almost say definitely.”

Even some conservative pundits who support building a wall worry that Trump’s actions on immigration could be harnessed by a future president for climate action.

Read the full report Environment & Energy News.

climate emergency

President Trump addressed the nation Tuesday. Kevin Dietsch/Picture Alliance/Consolidated/Newscom