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“History Will Notice” How Many Republicans Pass Tuesday’s “Gut-Check Vote” Test on Trump’s Fake Emergency

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Ahead of Tuesday’s House vote on a resolution to block President Trump’s unconstitutional and unpopular national emergency declaration, experts and leading observers from across the political spectrum are calling on Republicans to stand with the American people, preserve constitutional checks and balances, and defend the rule of law by passing the resolution and ending this fake national emergency. Among the developments and key voices:

  • 58 national security leaders: “under no plausible assessment…is there a national emergency.” The Washington Post highlights a new statement from a bipartisan group of 58 national security leaders that declares “there is no factual basis” for Trump’s national emergency declaration. As the statement asserts:

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 Post article recaps that the new statement, “which will be entered into the Congressional Record, is intended to support lawsuits and other actions challenging the national emergency proclamation and to force the administration to set forth the legal and factual basis for it.”

  • 23 former Republican Senators and House members call on Republicans to vote to terminate emergency declaration. A new letter from 23 former Republican Senators and Representatives, previewed by Politico, calls on current Republican elected officials to terminate the emergency declaration by passing the joint resolution. As the letter notes:

[W]e are coming together to urge those of you who are now charged with upholding the authority of the first branch of  government to resist efforts to surrender those powers to a president … We who have served where you serve now call on you to honor your oath of office and to protect the Constitution and the responsibilities it vested in Congress. We ask that you pass a joint resolution terminating the emergency declared by the President…

  • “A fake emergency” and an abuse of power: government stats undercut justification for emergency declaration. Maria Sacchetti of the Washington Post finds that nearly 63 percent of current ICE detainees lack any type of criminal record – undercutting the fear-mongering and stated justification used by President Trump to declare the emergency. The Post piece quotes Kevin Appleby, policy director at the Center for Migration Studies, who notes of the numbers and implications:

It proves this is a fake emergency. It really shows that what the president’s doing is abusing his power based on false information.

If Republicans support this unconstitutional power grab, they will have completed their transformation from the party of Reagan — a party devoted to conservative principles — to the party of Trump — a party devoted to no principle other than a desperate desire to propitiate a capricious would-be tyrant in the White House.

Liberal columnist E.J. Dionne similarly puts Tuesday’s vote and the larger moment in context, noting in his new column that “History will mark how many Republicans shy from Trump’s extremism” and writing in regards to Tuesday’s vote:

The events of recent days ought to try the consciences of Republicans who know that extremism and hatred are wrong. Many in the party acknowledge — usually in private — that the president they have continued to back has rooted his political appeal in vicious attacks against his opponents and a free press. He has invented crises for the purpose of stoking dread and horror. And he has targeted minority groups (immigrants especially) to harvest political support.

… Republicans will soon have an opportunity to tell us who they are. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called a vote this week on a measure rejecting Trump’s emergency declaration … It’s not too much to say that history will notice how many Republicans choose to separate themselves from Trump’s extremism.