Ex-National Security Officials Tell Trump His National Emergency is Illegal

27 February, 2019, 02:28 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Trump’s Border Wall Who Profits

President Donald Trump's allies in the House say they are confident of minimal GOP defections Tuesday on a vote to roll back his declaration of a national emergency to siphon billions of dollars from the military to fund his proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Trump has vowed to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

But the showdown was forcing Republicans to cast uncomfortable votes pitting their support for a president wildly popular with GOP voters against fears that his expansive use of emergency powers would invite future Democratic presidents to do likewise for their own pet policies.

In advance of the vote, House Democrats began circulating a list of just over 400 military construction projects that could be affected, with an average cost for each of the projects at around $40 million.

What seems certain is that once there, Trump would use his veto power to kill the initiative, and that there would not be enough votes in Congress to override the veto.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has maintained the emergency declaration is "the predictable and understandable consequences of Democrats' decision to put partisan obstruction ahead of the national interest".

"I am leaning against the resolution of disapproval mainly because I think this is (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer's and Pelosi's way of painting the President in the corner", Cornyn told reporters Monday, adding that Trump "said all along he wanted money to do border security and they basically we're determined not to give him what he thought was necessary".

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are blasting Democrats over their efforts to block the national emergency declaration.

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"There are different points of view about how to address that, and all of that will be dealt with publicly on the floor before we have the vote", the Kentucky lawmaker said. Susan Collins of ME and Sen. "I said that we would challenge him in the courts, we would challenge him in Congress, and I believe the American people will challenge him, and that's what's happening".

"We are aware of no emergency that remotely justifies such a step", wrote the 58 national security officials, who included former Obama and Clinton administration Cabinet secretaries as well as Bush administration security officials.

In the Senate, the privileged resolution can sit in committee for up to 15 days before it's available for any member to bring it up for a vote.

Murkowski's vote means only one more Senate Republican is needed to side with all the Democrats for the measure to pass and go to Trump, who is expected to veto it.

"Before President Trump officially made this declaration, I spoke with quite a few Republican lawmakers who did not want to see this happen because they're anxious about the precedent that it sets when a Democrat takes the White House", Robertson said.

Few promises are as symbolic of Trump's agenda as building a wall along the southwest United States border. When the bill comes to the Senate, at least three Republicans have explicitly declared their support for the bill. "Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the President to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border".

The Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, joined by a handful of Republicans, are poised to rebuke Mr Trump for this wall declaration.

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