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Trump sparks GOP backlash with claim of 'total' power to reopen the country

President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE's claim that he has "total" authority to decide when and how to reopen parts of the country shuttered by the coronavirus is sparking congressional backlash, including from members of his own party.

Trump, speaking during a White House press briefing Monday, said he has the "authority" to force governors, who have been issuing the stay-at-home orders, to reopen schools, businesses and other institutions in their states.

But GOP lawmakers, as well as Democrats, fired back Tuesday, sending a warning shot to Trump that under the Constitution he does not have unlimited powers. They also warned against overreaching.

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"The constitution doesn’t allow the federal gov’t to become the ultimate regulator of our lives because they wave a doctor’s note," Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted Tuesday.

"Powers not delegated are RESERVED to states & the PEOPLE. If we dispense with constitutional restraints, we will have more to worry about than a virus," added Paul, who has also been critical of governors he views as going too far during the pandemic.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Fla.) said that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House would be providing guidelines, the Constitution and "common sense" dictate that decisions about when to reopen shuttered parts of the country are made at the state level.

"It's going to be the governors that are going to make decisions about when certain activities are allowed. ... That is the appropriate place where I think some of these orders will begin to be modified," Rubio said, adding that the federal guidance would be "influential."

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories National Review editors defend Cheney from party attacks Ohio GOP censures Republican lawmaker over Trump MORE (R-Wyo.) didn't directly mention Trump but tweeted Monday night that "the federal government does not have absolute power."

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Republicans were joined by Democrats, and some governors, as well as Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashBiden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' Battle rages over vaccine passports Republicans eye primaries in impeachment vote MORE (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party last year.

Amash and Democratic Reps. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiWashington's split with Turkey widens — but it is up to Turkey to heal the rift Democrats warn Waters censure move opens floodgates Overnight Defense: Top Pentagon nominee advances after Harris casts tie-breaker | Air Force general charged with sexual assault first to face court-martial | House passes bill to limit Saudi arms sales MORE (N.J.) and Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsMinnesota takes joy in beating New York for last House seat Bold leadership is necessary to curb violence against youth Democrat Rita Hart withdraws challenge in Iowa House race MORE (Minn.) unveiled a one-page resolution on Tuesday that states "when someone is the president of the United States, their authority is not total."

"State governments are not local branches of the federal government; they have different powers and functions. Putting one government in charge of everything does not strengthen our system; it weakens our system and makes everyone more vulnerable to serious errors," Amash added in a tweet.

When, and how, to reopen shuttered parts of the country has emerged as a key point of debate within the government.

Trump has appeared eager to reopen the country sooner rather than later as the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy months before the 2020 election.

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He's expected to announce a panel on Tuesday that will be tasked with determining the criteria for lifting coronavirus restrictions.

Governors of six northeast states announced on Monday they were forming a group to create joint recommendations on how to reopen their economies.

Democratic senators are planning to introduce legislation to create a 10- to 15-member panel that would be responsible for coming up and implementing a plan to reopen closed parts of the country.

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyUS, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks Democrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Conn.), one of the senators backing the bill, said it should be up to governors and mayors, in consultation with the White House, to make the decisions about reopening the country.

"It is not true that the president has the complete and unchecked authority to override a state decision," Murphy said in a conference call. "Right now this president appears to have gone somewhat off the rails, I don't want him in charge of whether kids in my state go back to school."

Updated at 2:26 p.m.