Dem whose son was killed in shooting: Gun violence is the real national emergency, ‘not a wall’

Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathDemocratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises The Hill's Campaign Report: Rising Klobuchar, Buttigieg face test in diverse states Conservative women's group rolls out new GOP endorsements for 2020 MORE (D-Georgia) on Friday criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE’s decision to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall. 

Speaking on CNN, McBath said that there “really is a national emergency,” but on gun violence, not immigration.

“People continue to die every single day,” McBath told CNN’s John Berman. “We know that we’ve got over a hundred people in this country that die unnecessarily to gun violence every single day… that is a public health crisis.”

“That is a national emergency,” she added. “Not a wall.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The freshman lawmaker was inspired to run for Congress following her teenage son’s shooting death. She ousted Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelConservative women's group rolls out new GOP endorsements for 2020 The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race MORE (R-Ga.) for a seat been held by Republicans for decades.

McBath said Friday that she would back a national emergency on gun violence, but that she would want such a declaration to go through Congress.

Trump has threatened for weeks to declare a national emergency at the southern border in order to secure funding for his proposed border wall, a key campaign promise, without Congress.

The White House announced Thursday that Trump would avert a second government shutdown by signing a funding bill that provided just $1.375 billion for border security, a fraction of the $5.7 billion he originally demanded from lawmakers.

On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency, and said he would seek to redirect funding from the Treasury and Defense departments to pay for the wall.

After Trump announced his decision on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMalaysia says it will choose 5G partners based on own standards, not US recommendations Pelosi warns allies against using Huawei Budget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight MORE (D-Calif.) warned Republicans that a Democratic president could use the same powers to declare an emergency on guns.

“The precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans,” she said.