Administration

GOP lawmaker: Trump can’t claim emergency ‘whenever Congress doesn’t legislate the way he wants’

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Monday slammed the idea of President Trump declaring a national emergency to direct construction of a border wall, saying that Trump “can’t claim emergency powers” when Congress doesn’t the legislate the way he’d like. 

@POTUS can’t claim emergency powers for non-emergency actions whenever Congress doesn’t legislate the way he wants,” Amash said on Twitter just hours after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) raised the prospect. 

{mosads}Graham tweeted earlier Monday that Trump “must” declare a national emergency for construction of a wall along the southern border if lawmakers are unable to reach a deal on border security next month. 

“If White House and Congress fail to reach a deal then President @realDonaldTrump must act through emergency powers to build wall/barrier,” Graham tweeted, adding that he was hopeful Trump and Congress could work together to reach a deal. 

Graham contended that declaring a national emergency wouldn’t be much different from how previous administrations have used troops at the border. 

“Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump have all sent troops to help secure the border in the past,” he tweeted. “What’s the difference between troops securing the border and troops constructing barriers to secure the border?”

His comments came after Trump signed a bill to temporarily reopen the government following a 35-day shutdown. The funding lapse was triggered after Congress failed to reach an agreement on a new spending bill. 

Trump has repeatedly demanded that a long-term spending bill include funds for a border wall, which Democrats oppose. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he was skeptical a bipartisan group of lawmakers could reach a deal including funding for a wall. 

“I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board,” Trump told The Journal.

Graham has been a vocal proponent of declaring a national emergency for the construction of a wall, an idea Trump raised earlier this month. But other Republican lawmakers, including Amash and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), have raised concerns about the possible action.  

Tags Donald Trump Justin Amash Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio
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