The White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump would declare a national emergency to clinch funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democratic opponents and some Republican allies aren’t happy with the decision.
“Instead, we should address the actual emergencies facing our country,” she wrote. “Everything from gun violence to the opioid crisis.”
Declaring a national emergency over this President's vanity project is ridiculous. We don't need a wall. Instead, we should address the actual emergencies facing our country — everything from gun violence to the opioid crisis.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2019
Focusing on other emergencies facing the country was a common criticism from Democrats. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) alluded to gun violence, climate change, and the opioid crisis in her critique of the president’s plan.
“Donald Trump’s ridiculous wall is not an emergency,” she wrote on Twitter.
Gun violence is an emergency.
Climate change is an emergency.
Our country's opioid epidemic is an emergency.
Donald Trump's ridiculous wall is not an emergency.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 14, 2019
Even some Republicans expressed their disdain.
“It’s a bad idea,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, according to BuzzFeed News.
Other GOP members weren’t as direct but were definitely caught off-guard by Trump’s announcement.
“It would be a pretty dramatic expansion of how this was used in the past,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said.
According to BuzzFeed News, at least four other Republican senators — including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) — said they don’t support the president’s move.
Trump has been floating the idea of declaring a national emergency at the border for some time, but lawmakers were hoping they could reach a bipartisan deal that would satisfy Trump without an emergency declaration or another government shutdown.
Democrats and Republicans did reach a deal Thursday that included $1.37 billion for 55 miles of new physical barriers on the border, much less than Trump’s original $5.7 billion demand.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Trump will sign that bill if it’s passed in the Senate but that he’ll also declare a national emergency. The White House confirmed the news.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in a statement, which appeared to be a screenshot of her phone’s notes app.
Statement on Government Funding Bill: pic.twitter.com/DrNv9D4rEi
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) February 14, 2019
“The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country,” Sanders added.