Republicans will turn on President Donald Trump if he declares a national emergency in order to get a wall along the southern border built.
“The whole idea that a president — whether it’s President Trump or President Warren or President Sanders — can declare an emergency and then somehow usurp the separation of powers and get into the business of appropriating money for specific projects without Congress getting involved is a serious constitutional question,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Monday, The New York Times reported.
“It would be a bad precedent, I think, for the president to decide to invoke national security as a way to bypass a congressional logjam,” Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey also said, the NYT reported. “And I can imagine future presidents using that for purposes I would find very objectionable,” he added.
Other Republican leaders also expressed concern over Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country. Among those voicing worry are Republican senators Marco Rubio, Bill Cassidy, Roy Blunt and Lamar Alexander, according to the NYT.
“I don’t think much of that idea,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in early January. “I hope he [Trump] doesn’t go down that path.”
Republican Sen. John Thune has also rejected the option to declare a national emergency in order to build the wall, according to The Hill.
“[T]here could be a war within the Republican party over the wall,” according to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Trump reopened the government from Jan. 25 until Feb. 15 in order to get a funding deal for the border wall. He demands $5.7 billion, but Democrats in Congress have refused.
Trump is expected to address the status of the wall during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“You are also going to see the president call on Congress and say, look, we can either work together and get great things done or we can fight each other and get nothing done,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a preview of the president’s speech.
Border wall apprehensions jumped 61 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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