GOP lawmaker blasts Trump: 'The president is violating' Constitution with emergency declaration

GOP lawmaker blasts Trump: 'The president is violating' Constitution with emergency declaration
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GOP Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashGOP lawmaker tells party to 'do better' after O'Rourke St. Patrick's Day post The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Trump: I told Republicans to vote for 'transparency' in releasing Mueller report MORE (Mich.) on Sunday denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE's emergency declaration to fund a border wall, saying that Trump violated the Constitution by moving forward with the executive action. 

“I think the president is violating our constitutional system. And I don't think Congress can grant legislative powers to the president by statute," Amash said on CNN's "State of the Union." "You can't just pass a statute that says, 'The president now has appropriations power' and bypass Congress. I don’t think that’s allowed under our constitutional system."

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Asked if he thought Republicans supporting this declaration were abdicating their responsibilities to the Constitution, Amash said "yes."

"I don't think that they're all intending to do that," he added. "I think many of them are trying to make legal arguments. They say, well, Congress has passed legislation giving the president this power. I don’t think that they’re thinking to themselves, 'oh I just want the president to violate the Constitution.' "

But Amash said Congress is the best check on executive action and that the body had to "protect" its own "power."

Trump declared a national emergency last month after Congress passed a spending bill without the $5.7 billion he demanded for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

But his emergency declaration has faced opposition from many House and Senate lawmakers. Thirteen Republicans, including Amash, bucked leadership last week and voted with House Democrats for a resolution blocking the executive order. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrio of NFL players intern on Capitol Hill as part of league program Trump keeps tight grip on GOP GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (Ky.) on Saturday became the fourth GOP senator to say he'd support the resolution, clinching a bipartisan majority in the upper chamber. 

GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have already said they would vote for the resolution. 

Trump has said he would veto the resolution of disapproval if it reached his desk. 

“I really think that Republicans that vote against border security and the wall, I think you know, I’ve been OK at predicting things, I think they put themselves at great jeopardy,” he said to Fox News’s Sean Hannity last week.

Amash has repeatedly condemned Trump over the emergency declaration. He said in January that Trump couldn't "claim emergency powers for non-emergency actions whenever Congress doesn’t legislate the way he wants."