White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement saying that the president will take the necessary steps to ensure border security.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action – including a national emergency – to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” Sanders said.
Some Republicans are speaking out in response to this news, but the comments have been mixed.
Here are some of their reactions to Trump’s plan:
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-La.), a strong supporter of border security, affirmed the president’s strategy of declaring a national emergency.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 14, 2019
Not all Republicans view the national emergency as an option. In a statement, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) cautioned that the strategy was extreme:
“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution. 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.”
Representative Jody Hice blamed Democrats for allowing the crisis to reach this point as he announced he “fully” supports the president.
.@POTUS is committed to securing our borders. Congress has yet again failed miserably while leaving @realDonaldTrump with no other choice but to take executive action. We have a border security and humanitarian crisis that merit a national emergency. I fully support him. pic.twitter.com/TkVyPb9csA
— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) February 14, 2019
Rep Steve Scalise (R-La.) took the time to “applaud” President Trump’s decision to both sign the spending bill and to take steps to “keep America safe.
I applaud @realDonaldTrump’s decision to sign this funding bill, as well as the steps he's taking to keep America safe. $1.375 billion in funding for 55 miles of badly-needed border wall is a big step, but clearly falls short of what Republicans wanted and what @POTUS requested.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 15, 2019
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was not pleased with the news, saying that the legislation being passed at the last minute was not right.
“I, too, want stronger border security, including a wall in some areas. But how we do things matters. Over 1,000 pages dropped in the middle of the night and extraconstitutional executive actions are wrong, no matter which party does them,” said Paul.
Paul also tweeted out criticism of calling a national emergency.
I’m disappointed with both the massive, bloated, secretive bill that just passed and with the president’s intention to declare an emergency to build a wall.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 14, 2019
House Freedom Caucus Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) indicated that the president is “absolutely right.”
Democrats’ refusal to negotiate has rendered Congress inept at doing its job to protect Americans. At this point POTUS is absolutely right to use constitutional executive action authority to build the wall and secure our border. This is a national emergency. I fully support him.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 14, 2019
The funding legislation was passed by Congress on Thursday and according to reports, the president will sign it to avoid another government shutdown. However, the bill only provides $1.37 billion for border security.