Colorado – The Senate is poised to join the House and vote for the resolution blocking President Trump’s unconstitutional and unpopular emergency declaration. With leading conservative voices and constitutional scholars joining the majority of both chambers in opposing Trump’s power grab, Senator Cory Gardner should declare whether he intends to stand with President Trump’s fake emergency declaration or with the constitution and the proper separation of powers?
In Colorado, observers are highlighting why Senator Gardner should stand with the Constitution and against Trump’s unconstitutional power grab:
As a Christian pastor working closely with the immigrant and refugee community, I am outraged that President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency on our southern border. The fact that the president is circumventing the will of the people and congressional oversight to purloin billions for his border wall is detestable, unlawful and unprecedented overreach by the executive branch.
Believing all lives are sacred and everyone has the God-given inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, his actions are deplorable and a violation of human rights. The president’s continuing disdain for human rights by inventing imaginary enemies — in this case, migrants at the southern border — as a unifying cause for his base is immoral.
We cannot accept any compromise on human rights, family separation, the well-being of our border communities and further militarization of the border. I call on all people of faith to stand on the side of justice and our core beliefs to do everything in our power to challenge and defeat this false and deceptive declaration of a national emergency.
Rev. Wayne A. Laws, Aurora
Americans overwhelmingly voted in a Democratic House of Representatives in the mid-terms in order to balance the power in Washington and to put a check on President Trump. The Democratic House and the Republican Senate spent the last few weeks hammering out a compromise on border security, a compromise where neither group obtained everything they desired. That is the way democracy is supposed to work.
Now the president decides to declare a “national emergency” because he did not get everything he wanted out of the bipartisan compromise. This act rejects the voice of the majority of Americans as heard in the midterms, rejects the idea of bipartisan compromise and finally rejects the very American constitutional tradition of separation of powers.
Let’s hope our Colorado contingent of representatives and senators protect our system of government by rejecting the president’s action.
Kelly Krattenmaker, Greenwood Village
As a Washington Post editorial stated this weekend, “the Senate must decide whether it will defend its prerogatives from this wayward White House … For the good of the country — and out of institutional self-respect — senators should reject Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration.”
In announcing his intention to vote for the resolution against President Trump’s declaration, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) detailed his reasons in an op-ed on the Fox News website, titled “I support President Trump, but I can’t support this National Emergency Declaration.”
There are really two questions involved in the decision about emergency funding. First, does statutory law allow for the president’s emergency orders, and, second, does the Constitution permit these emergency orders? As far as the statute goes, the answer is maybe — although no president has previously used emergency powers to spend money denied by Congress, and it was clearly not intended to do that. But there is a much larger question: the question of whether or not this power and therefore this action are constitutional.
…To my mind, like it or not, we had this conversation. In fact, the government was shut down in a public battle over how much money would be spent on the wall and border security. It ended with a deal that Congress passed and the president signed into law, thus determining the amount. Congress clearly expressed its will not to spend more than $1.3 billion and to restrict how much of that money could go to barriers. Therefore, President Trump’s emergency order is clearly in opposition to the will of Congress. Moreover, the broad principle of separation of powers in the Constitution delegates the power of the purse to Congress. This turns that principle on its head.
…I must vote how my principles dictate. My oath is to the Constitution, not to any man or political party. I stand with the president often, and I do so with a loud voice. Today, I think he’s wrong, not on policy, but in seeking to expand the powers of the presidency beyond their constitutional limits. I understand his frustration. Dealing with Congress can be pretty difficult sometimes. But Congress appropriates money, and his only constitutional recourse, if he does not like the amount they appropriate, is to veto the bill.