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 Martha McSally 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 Arizona, observers are highlighting why Senator McSally should stand with the Constitution and against Trump’s unconstitutional power grab:
In a piece titled, “Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border wall should not stand” for the Arizona Republic, Robert Robb writes:
As with all things Trump, the discussion of his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border is unhinged.
Donald Trump is not trashing the Constitution. Opponents of his declaration aren’t necessarily in favor of open borders.
A dispassionate review suggests that Trump’s declaration should not stand. But it is a close call, both politically and legally.
…The appropriate place to have a debate about additional miles of physical barriers is in deliberations over next year’s budget. Trump and Congress are already dilatory in tackling this most fundamental of responsibilities. Under the Budget Act, the president’s proposed budget was to have been submitted to Congress by Feb. 4.
…This is not a constitutional crisis, and shouldn’t be turned into one.
Trump is purporting to exercise authority Congress has given him. Congress has the power to override him.
If not, there is an appropriate role for the courts. Not in evaluating whether Trump is right about there being an emergency at the border. But on the much narrower question of whether a border fence is a military construction project within the emergency powers Congress has granted.
Just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Trump golfs during his “national emergency” about our porous border. He claims we are being invaded by rapists and murderers, overrun by drug smugglers, and women and children sneaked over as sex slaves – all a figment of his juvenile imagination. Donald Trump’s lying, corruption, and subservience to Vladimir Putin define a true national emergency.
It is time for Sen. McSally to choose which she supports: the Constitution or Trump. If Congress lets Trump redirect funds from the military and drug interdiction to his useless wall by declaring a national emergency, then he , and any future president, could simply declare a national emergency whenever they wish to accomplish anything — regardless of the will of the people and Congress. That, Sen. McSally, is a dictatorship.
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.”