Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

Where They Stand: Your MoCs on Trumps Fake Emergency

When the president lost his battle for a wall with Congress and the American people, he jeopardized the constitutional balance of powers by declaring a fake state of emergency in order to bypass Congress. In a real state of emergency, the president would be able to take funds from already funded areas and not wait for Congress to act. In this case, Congress DID act, and Trump simply didn’t like the results. By declaring a fake emergency, he’s trying to take funds from the military for his wall after a bipartisan decision by Congress not to fund it.

Congress appropriates funds, not the Executive branch. And Congress has the means and the obligation to check Executive Branch abuses.

There is a clear mechanism in place for stopping Trump’s power grab: It’s called the National Emergencies Act.

The National Emergencies Act expressly provides a procedure for Congress to terminate a state of emergency simply by passing a resolution. Congress has never used this procedure before, but we’ve never before been faced with a presidential abuse of emergency powers.

This means that Congress can act now to protect our democracy by passing a resolution that terminates the fake emergency.

What do our Members of Congress have to say about this situation? Read their public statements below, then take this action on Monday, President’s Day, demanding they pass a resolution to stop the #FakeEmergency.

Senator Thom Tillis:

Senator Tillis posted a long ramble on Facebook 2/15/19 consisting mostly of praise for President Trump, and criticism of the Democrats.  “Over the last several years, I’ve repeatedly supported President Trump’s plans to secure our borders. I share the President’s frustration that Congressional Democrats have blocked the reasonable and good faith efforts he has made to invest in more personnel, technology, and infrastructure in order to protect the American people. Democratic leaders have made clear their opposition to a serious investment in border security is motivated by their desire to score political points at the President’s expense.” But in the end, he opposes the Fake National Emergency, “… I don’t believe a national emergency declaration is the solution.” Let’s hold him to it! Read the full text of his statement below.

Senator Richard Burr:

Laying low. We deserve to know your position Senator Burr!

Congressman Patrick McHenry, District 10.

 Laying low.  Although in a Feb 7 podcast he spoke of a the national emergency option,”I don’t think it’s the best first choice.” Lots of wiggle room there. We deserve to know your position Congressman McHenry!

Congressman Mark Meadows, District 11.

No Surprise here. As usual, Meadows throws his full support behind Donald Trump. Read the full script below.

And a quick thanks to the Asheville Citizens Times for keeping us updated on their positions with this recent story.

Senator Thom Tillis’s full statement on Facebook:

My statement on President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration:

It doesn’t matter who the President is or what party they belong to: I strongly believe in the separation of powers and curbing the kind of executive overreach that Congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the last century, including during the Obama Administration.

Over the last several years, I’ve repeatedly supported President Trump’s plans to secure our borders. I share the President’s frustration that Congressional Democrats have blocked the reasonable and good faith efforts he has made to invest in more personnel, technology, and infrastructure in order to protect the American people. Democratic leaders have made clear their opposition to a serious investment in border security is motivated by their desire to score political points at the President’s expense.

While there are unobjectionable ways for the President to transfer federal funds to be used for border security, including more than $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, I don’t believe a national emergency declaration is the solution. It wouldn’t provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders, it would likely get tied up in litigation, and most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing President would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress. As Speaker Pelosi explicitly noted, liberal Democrats would certainly embrace scenarios like:

▪️A President Bernie Sanders declaring a national emergency to implement the radical Green New Deal, including shutting down power plants, causing energy prices to skyrocket.

▪️A President Elizabeth Warren declaring a national emergency to shut down banks and take over the nation’s financial institutions.

▪️A President Cory Booker declaring a national emergency to effectively end Second Amendment Rights.

Congress has allowed executive overreach to continue unabated from one administration to the next because both sides are fine with it as long as they agree with the policy goal. While I agree with President Trump’s policy goal, I don’t believe in situational principles, and it’s clear what kind of rabbit hole our country can go down when we have a Democratic President who wants more government intrusion into our economy and our lives.

Congressman Mark Meadows’s full statement on Facebook:

BREAKING: President Trump just announced he’s taking executive action to divert an additional almost $4 billion for parts of a border wall.

The President is absolutely right to do this.

Democrats’ refusal to negotiate left Congress almost totally powerless to do its job and secure our border. Executive action (within the law and limits of the Constitution), while a last resort, is the best option at this point given Congress’ inability to follow through.

Congress failed. But make no mistake, President Trump just made it clear: he will not disregard his commitments to voters as Congress so often does.