Rubio: Trump declaring national emergency for border wall 'a terrible idea'

Rubio: Trump declaring national emergency for border wall 'a terrible idea'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Congress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Trump administration eyes new strategy on COVID-19 tests MORE (R-Fla.) said Sunday that he would oppose an effort by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE to declare a national emergency to construct a wall along the southern border, calling the prospect a "terrible idea."

"I hope he doesn't do it. I don't think it's leverage," Rubio said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Rubio argued that an emergency declaration would likely be tied up in the courts, and would set a poor precedent for future administrations.

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"It doesn't mean that I don't want border security," he said. "I do. I just think that's the wrong way to achieve it. It doesn't provide certainty. And you could very well wind up in sort of a theatric victory at the front end and then not getting it done."

"I think the best way to do it is to have a law passed that funds border security so we know it's going to happen," he added.

The president last Friday signed a bill to fund the government for three weeks. The measure did not include money for a wall along the southern border, but provided the opportunity for a bipartisan conference of lawmakers to negotiate border security funding.

The decision marked a sharp reversal for Trump, who triggered a partial government shutdown over his demand for more than $5 billion in wall funding, and insisted for the previous 35 days that he would not cave on the issue in the face of Democratic opposition.

Trump has indicated he will use his emergency powers should Congress not come to an agreement to his liking over the next three weeks.