GOP lawmaker calls Trump emergency declaration 'a mistake'

Rep. Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartDems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons House passes series of measures hitting Russia, Putin House Intel obtains new info, documents from Cohen in 8-hour interview MORE (R-Utah) said Thursday that while he supports increased border security, President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE's decision to declare a national emergency to secure funds for his long-desired wall along the southern border is a "mistake."

"I think President Trump is making a mistake by declaring a national emergency in order to increase border funding," Stewart said in a statement. "Whether the President has the authority or not, it sets a dangerous precedent and places America on a path that we will regret.

"It deeply worries me that a future Democratic President may consider gun violence or climate change a ‘national emergency’ and what actions they may then take," he added.

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Stewart's concerns mirror those shared by a number of Republican lawmakers in recent weeks. Party members have warned that such a move would prompt legal challenges, would skirt congressional authority and could set a dangerous precedent for future administrations.

Trump has raised the prospect for weeks of declaring a national emergency to direct construction of his proposed border wall if he did not receive the $5.7 billion he sought in funding.

The White House on Thursday afternoon confirmed that Trump would sign off on legislation that includes $1.375 billion in funding for roughly 55 miles of new barriers along the southern border. At the same time, he intends to declare a national emergency to secure additional funds for a border wall.

The announcement ended speculation over whether Trump would sign the legislative deal reached by lawmakers. Trump had said he was "not happy" about the bill's border security funding, but added that he did not want another shutdown.

The president must sign the bill before midnight on Friday to avoid a second government shutdown this year.