‘No Crisis Justifies Violating the Constitution’: Rubio Hits Trump Over National Emergency Declaration

Marco Rubio, Donald Trump
Zach Gibson/Getty Images, Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Donald Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to fund a southern border wall is not sitting right even with his Republican allies in Congress. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is fighting against the decision, especially because he believes it would hurt his home state.

Rubio was quick to express his dismay with the declaration, simply telling one reporter “It’s a bad idea,” after the news broke Thursday. Later that day, he released an official statement condemning the action.

The Florida senator ripped into the plan as it wouldn’t include disaster funding, which the state is still using to recover from Hurricane Michael. “I will not support using devastated communities in Florida as pawns for some future legislative deal,” Rubio said in the statement.

The Florida senator was worried about what precedent declaring a national emergency over the border wall could set, especially since Democratic criticism pointed out that climate change and gun violence were national emergencies.

“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Rubio continued. “Today’s national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal. I will wait to see what statutory or constitutional power the President relies on to justify such a declaration before making any definitive statement. But I am skeptical it will be something I can support.”

Other Republicans senators shared Rubio’s sentiment. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) echoed his worries of what precedent that action would set.

“Such a declaration would undermine the role of Congress and the appropriations process; it’s just not good policy,” she said in a statement.

“It also sets a bad precedent for future Presidents — both Democratic and Republican — who might seek to use the same maneuver to circumvent Congress to advance their policy goals. It is also of dubious constitutionality, and it will almost certainly be challenged in the courts.”

Collins is right. Democrats have already threatened to take Trump to court over the decision and the Justice Department is well aware of that reality. According to ABC News, the Justice Department has already warned the White House that the national emergency declaration could be blocked temporarily in court.

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