Following President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration in an effort to secure more funding for constructing a border wall, Republicans are wary his call could create legal precedent for Democrats in the future to declare emergencies left and right, but one GOP representative is staying “hopeful.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) told IJR the national emergency declaration was the “result of Congress not doing its job.”
“Democrats gave the president no leeway to enact his expert-led border security plan, so I share his frustration with the position we are in now,” Crenshaw said.
Trump signed the bipartisan federal spending and border security deal on Friday in order to veer from another shutdown, but the deal didn’t include the desired $5.7 billion in funding. Instead, it provided $1.375 billion, and as a result, he signed a national emergency, giving him access to nearly $8 billion in funds.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border — and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” the president said during his White House press conference on Friday.
The Texan Republican shared the same concern as some other Republicans regarding the precedent that the national emergency declaration sets.
“While I’m hopeful that this option will start to address the problems at our border, I remain wary of the precedent it sets,” Crenshaw said. “This is simply the result of Congress not doing its job.”
Crenshaw’s concern reflects among other conservatives as well.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is among those concerned it could allow Democrats to push legislation such as the Green New Deal.
“How would Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders use this precedent for a national disaster declaration to force the Green New Deal on the American people?” she asked on Twitter.
How would Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders use this precedent for a national disaster declaration to force the Green New Deal on the American people? pic.twitter.com/S0ECCS4ba6
— CathyMcMorrisRodgers (@cathymcmorris) February 14, 2019
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) expressed the same concern of future presidents using emergencies to push their agendas.
“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Rubio said in a statement, the Florida Phoenix reported, adding that a future president “may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal.”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 15, 2019
The president’s national emergency declaration also confused some Republicans, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
“I wish he wouldn’t have done it,” Grassley said, according to Politico. “If [Trump] figures that Congress didn’t do enough and he’s got to do it, then I imagine we’ll find out whether he’s got the authority to do it by the courts.”
Politico also noted how Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) shared how he is “not for running the government by emergency, nor spending money. The Constitution’s pretty clear: spending originates and is directed by Congress.”
Watch the president’s speech below:
President Trump Speaks on the National Security & Humanitarian Crisis on Our Southern Border https://t.co/FqdfFORbv5
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 15, 2019
So far, Trump has stirred up confusion on both sides of the aisle with his emergency declaration while also gaining support from some.
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed the president’s move as “unlawful” and unconstitutional —though House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) claimed there won’t be enough GOP votes to block the executive action.