Nearly two dozen former GOP lawmakers are urging Republicans to oppose President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE’s national emergency declaration.
The former lawmakers in a letter published in Politico Playbook on Monday remind Republican lawmakers of an oath to “put the country and its Constitution above everything, including party politics or loyalty to a president.”
Five former Republican senators and 19 former GOP members of the House, who all served between 1967 and 2013, signed the letter. They ask current Republicans to “pass a joint resolution terminating” the national emergency.
“We who have signed this letter are no longer Members of Congress but that oath still burns within us,” they write. “That is why we are coming together to urge those of you who are now charged with upholding the authority of the first branch of government to resist efforts to surrender those powers to a president.”
Trump declared a national emergency earlier this month after Congress rejected funding for his proposed wall along the southern border.
The House is expected to vote this week on a resolution to block the declaration. The resolution was backed by one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashDemocrats defend Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban advance Vietnam shadow hangs over Biden decision on Afghanistan Kamala Harris and our shameless politics MORE (Mich.).
Trump's emergency declaration has already drawn at least five legal challenges and has been widely condemned, including from a group of nearly 60 former national security officials.
The ex-lawmakers argue that the declaration hurts constituents by allowing the president to circumvent Congress’s power of the purse and undermine “true representative government.”
They also warn current Republicans that a future Democratic president could use the same national emergency powers to advance their own legislation.
“What will you do when a president of another party uses the precedent you are establishing to impose policies to which you are unalterably opposed?” they ask. “There is no way around this difficulty: what powers are ceded to a president whose policies you support may also be used by presidents whose policies you abhor.”
The former lawmakers end the letter by urging current Republicans to “honor your oath of office” and pass a joint resolution against the emergency declaration.
“You were sent to Congress to be the voice of the people,” they write. “That is an awesome burden and it may require you to exercise restraint to protect the constitutional model—that which is the root of American exceptionalism—and to keep it from being sacrificed on the altar of expediency.”