Texas GOP rep opposes Trump’s use of national emergency to get border wall

Republican Rep. Roger Williams (Texas) said Tuesday that he opposes the national emergency declared by President Trump to build a border wall.

Williams, asked about Trump’s national emergency declaration by a constituent at a town hall event Tuesday, gave a clear “no” to supporting it, according to the Austin American-Statesman.


“The reason that I have not been supportive of the declaration is because Congress has done a really poor job, we … Congress, both sides of the aisle, put the president in this situation, OK, but I don’t support it from a selfish standpoint,” Williams said at the event, according to the Statesman.

He then reportedly went on to explain that the emergency declared by Trump could take border wall funding that currently goes towards military bases, specifically noting Fort Hood, and saying he’d “hate to see a lot of those dollars diverted from that.”

Williams’s district, which he is in his fourth term representing, includes a majority of Fort Hood and is not on or near the border.

He added during the town hall that there are “serious issues on the border.”

“But I have not been a big proponent of the emergency declaration,” he said. “Congress let people down by not taking an aggressive stance in coming up with a border security bill.”

Despite Williams’s comments at the town hall, a spokesperson suggested the congressman might still be able to back Trump on the declaration.

Spokesperson Hanna Allred told The Hill that Williams was worried about money being taken away from renovations at Fort Hood, but that recent comments from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that military housing would not be touched was an “important step.”

“While he has expressed concern about money being taken away from much needed barrack and facility renovations at Fort Hood, Acting Secretary Shanahan’s recent comments that military housing will not be touched is an important step, and Congressman Williams will continue to push the issue to make sure this is the case,” she said in an email.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to say she would back legislation to block Trump’s emergency declaration, which he issued last week.

–This report was updated on Feb. 21 at 12:21 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Patrick Shanahan Roger Williams Susan Collins

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