GOP rep: Trump emergency declaration puts US in 'uncharted territory'

GOP rep: Trump emergency declaration puts US in 'uncharted territory'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Hillicon Valley: US threatens to hold intel from Germany over Huawei | GOP senator targets FTC over privacy | Bipartisan bill would beef up 'internet of things' security | Privacy groups seize on suspended NSA program | Tesla makes U-turn MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday that the U.S. has entered “uncharted territory” with 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 use of national emergency powers to secure funding for a wall along the southern border.

Hurd, the lone Republican who represents a district along the southern border, said on CBS's “Face the Nation” that an emergency declaration was not necessary to address immigration issues, and cautioned that Trump’s decision could adversely impact his constituents and the military.

“I don’t think we needed a national emergency declaration,” Hurd said. “That is not a tool that the president needs in order to solve this problem.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He pointed to increasing pay for Border Patrol agents to increase retention, additional cooperation with Mexican authorities and increased use of technology as alternative measures that could deter illegal immigration.

Hurd noted that Trump's plans for a wall could force Texas to cede more than 1 million acres of farmable land. If the government seizes that land, it would force 1,000 ranchers and farmers to go to court over their property, the congressman said.

Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and spend roughly $8 billion on barriers along the southern border.

The president's declaration highlighted $3.6 billion in military construction funding toward the border project. Those funds would be paired with separate executive action repurposing about $2.5 billion from the Defense Department’s drug-interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund. 

Lawmakers from both parties have pushed back against Trump's emergency declaration, and the move has already drawn a flurry of lawsuits. 

"I’m always open to making sure that Congress takes back some of its power as a co-equal branch of government," Hurd said Sunday. "And I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of conversations. We’re almost in uncharted territory, because I think … that this is one of the first times there’s been a disagreement between the executive branch and Congress on what is indeed a national emergency."

Hurd did not say whether he would support a resolution to block Trump's declaration, but said he would back a measure that "reviews how you declare a national emergency" or that would prevent a president from raiding military construction funds. 

"We just spend the last four years rebuilding our military making sure the men and women in our armed forces have the tools that they need," he said. "I don’t want to see that money being taken away from that."