Donald Trump

Trump Says 'Senate Republicans Are Not Voting on Constitutionality' of Emergency Declaration

It's a problematic sentiment on several levels.


Kevin Dietsch/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

Referring to a resolution that would block his national emergency declaration, President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that GOP members of the Senate "are not voting on constitutionality or precedent," but rather on border security.

Trump has declared a state of emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. He plans to use that emergency declaration to take money from the Pentagon's military construction budget and the Treasury Department's drug interdiction fund to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Last month, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a resolution to block the national emergency.

The resolution now heads to the Senate, where it appears enough GOP senators have bucked their party to ensure it passes in the upper chamber as well. While the resolution challenges the constitutionality of Trump's actions, the president's tweet Wednesday suggest he believes constitutional questions are subordinate to his immigration preferences.

"Senate Republicans are not voting on constitutionality or precedent, they are voting on desperately needed Border Security & the Wall," the president wrote. "Our Country is being invaded with Drugs, Human Traffickers, & Criminals of all shapes and sizes. That's what this vote is all about. STAY UNITED!"

The four Senate Republicans who have said they'll vote to block the emergency declaration—Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), and Thom Tillis (N.C.)—have each expressed concerns about Trump's action on constitutional grounds.

Essentially, Congress, which has power of the purse, has not approved the billions that Trump wants to spend on the wall, even after considering the issue. As Paul explained: "I can't vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress."

Even libertarian-leaning members of Congress like Paul and Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) have suggested they're not necessarily opposed to the idea of border security; they just want the president to obtain funding the right way (i.e. through Congress).

"If you think my job is to support the president one hundred percent, then you don't understand what it means to be a representative in Congress," he wrote at the time. "My job is to support the Constitution one hundred percent and to represent all the people of my district by protecting their rights."

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86 responses to “Trump Says 'Senate Republicans Are Not Voting on Constitutionality' of Emergency Declaration

  1. I would prefer if Senate Republicans simply reformulated the concept of Presidential emergencies to deal with situations where Congress doesn’t have time to consider an urgent, newly-emerging situation.

    Put a time limit on the duration of an emergency so Congress has a specific window of time to affirmatively approve it, or else the emergency expires (unless Congress has been vaporized in a nuclear blast or something).

    They should also require that an emergency declaration be issued soon after the emergency arises, because if Congress has had time to deal with the emergency then a proclamation to override Congress would no longer be defensible as responding to the Congressional will.

    Then have an up or down vote on *that* and see if the Dems are willing to approve it.

    But I doubt that the DeRps want any such reform – it is simply too easy to delegate indefinite open-ended emergency powers to the President and then selectively bitch and moan about the emergencies they don’t like, holding meaningless votes on them.

    1. In any sane system, such basic principles would be derived from the very word “emergency”, and courts would have the guts to say so and void this and most other emergency declarations. Hurricane made a mess? Earthquake? Actual armed invasion? Go for it, but get Congress involved right from the start — if they don’t vote to approve it within a day or two, out it goes, and the President gets some kind of actual punishment for violating the Constitution.

      It should be far easier to repeal laws and regulations and diktats than enact them.

      1. Not following the news from the border, are you? Illegal border crossing attempts have spiked, (Doubtless encouraged by the opposition Trump is facing.) and are now at extremely high levels, with more caravans setting out.

        1. If they have spiked, its probably because of the “Trump” economy and how shitty things are in their shit-hole countries. I doubt they are sitting around going, well Chuck and Nancy are fighting Trump so I think all join in.

        2. Not using your brain for yourself, are you? Might try thinking and looking up the stats yourself instead of relying on Trump and his cronies. Try to learn the difference between immigrants and invading armies. Try to understand that people are just people, not Batman’s enemies.

          What gives you the moral authority to steal my taxes to control who I do business with or who visits me?

          Fuck off, slaver. Go buy border land if you want to control trespassers. Leave my money out of it, and don’t pretend you are doing it for me, for my benefit, or on my behalf.

          1. Look, idiot: I don’t care how desperate you are that Spanish become our national language. When tens of thousands of people are crossing our border contrary to our laws, we’re being invaded.

            If Congress doesn’t want to stop the invasion, we’ll deal with that at the next election. In the mean time I’m in favor of every legal means being used to stop the invasion, and Congress was stupid enough to pass the NEA, so what he’s doing is legal no matter how much you disapprove of it.

            And if these members of Congress can’t be bothered to repeal the NEA, they’re not objecting to Presidential excesses of power. They’re objecting to the border being secured.

        3. And if you’re fucking desire to steal my money to control my business is so hinged on spiking illegal border crossings, then what excuse did you use for the past decade or so where they’ve been dropping?

          Oh wait, those were fake stats. Yours are recent, from Trump, and thus real.

          1. This is such a juvenile argument.

            Man up, and stop paying taxes.
            Or stop using this infantile talking point.

    2. Until they get rid of the 17th amendment Senators will never have time for anything but fundraising and occasional bloviating.

      1. yes.

    3. There are no real situations which are true emergencies in which Congress can’t form a quorum and act within a matter of hours. Therefore, I see very little value in an emergency exception in any of these laws. Congress simply needs to do their job in the cases of emergencies.

      I don’t see how anybody can say with a straight face that Trump’s emergency declaration isn’t a blatant attempt at skirting Congress. He used the emergency declaration thing as a negotiating tool after all. If it were a true emergency, then we should have had the declaration back at the start, and not as a response to the budget deal not going his way.

      1. Congress should not be legally allowed to shirk their responsibilities and empower the executive. The Courts have failed miserably on all of the nonsense that Congress has delegated to the executive.

    4. The way I see it is that this is a real crisis & Trump simply wants to pay for it from Pentagon funds & Treasury funds from Drug Interdictions….So, since the Pentagon routinely misuses & also loses tens of millions of dollars all the time & the Treasury Dept. drug money does not really make a dent in our astronomical deficit, why not use it for something worthwhile that might actually help a bad situation that has developed over decades of BOTH SIDES ignoring it!

  2. Remember when Republicans said that DACA was illegal and then some said that this was legal because of existing legislation allowing for an emergency declaration? The inverse, which is a more popular position, that DACA was legal, but this is illegal is equally hypocritical.

    At least Rand has principles

    1. I don’t remember the “emergency” part of the DACA story. It was more like Obama wasn’t enforcing the law, i.e deferred action.

      1. I remember that part of it too, comparing it to a prosecutor’s discretion in which charges to prosecute. Or a cop being selective in which crimes to turn a blind eye to. But no one wanted to touch that live wire because that would eliminate rule by men.

        1. Actually, Congress sued because the administration was using funds not allocated by Congress in order to create a new visa system that was also not created by Congress. Kind of exactly what the complaint is here, so……

          1. Only without the statutory basis Trump’s action actually has.

          2. A Republican Congress sued and those are Republicans talking points you’re repeating. Over emphasize the small amount of money required to recognize the types of cases that would qualify for discretion. Under emphasize the executive prerogative for discretion. How do you account for dramatic decrease in environmental law enforcement under Trump if not by design and discretion?

            1. Again, you are really struggling here. The amount of money illegally allocated by an executive doesn’t fucking matter. What matters is whether or not Congress allocated those funds, which they didn’t. Those “Republican talking points” were validated by the courts with regards to DAPA (which had the same basis for the lawsuit).

              DACA had nothing to do with prosecutorial discretion. You are propagating a myth. It was already standard practice to not prioritize juvenile illegal immigrants. The issue centered around (1) creating a new temporary visa system that was never authorized by Congress and (2) allocating money that Congress never allocated.

              Try as you might, your position is still blatant hypocrisy.

            2. Amazing how open-borders/eliminate the rule of law types ignore the administrative costs of collecting the information and vetting DACAsses and issuing work permits – as yet not reported.
              And those things are on an ongoing basis.
              I’ll wager it has cost more than the $5B Trump wants for his one-time expenditure on the wall.

      2. Like when cops hand out get out of jail free cards. Or when prosecutors don’t prosecute a rapist and instead hook him up with blow and whores. You know like that completely dumbfuck analogy.

      3. That’s a bizarre myth that people keep repeating. Are we pretending like moving money that was not allocated by Congress and creating an entirely new visa system that again was not authorized by Congress is not an exact comparison to the wall?

        1. No, but not all of DACA needed money. Part of it was simply promising to not prosecute minors. Where is the expense in that?

          1. Yeah, well that is within the purview of the executive, I would assume. But, the lawsuit from Congress centered around the whole temporary visa part. DACA was never about whether or not to prosecute minors as that was already existing practice. DACA was about the executive unilaterally inventing a new scheme for temporary visas and then funding it by allocating funds that were never allocated for such a purpose.

            People are really trying to pretend like their hypocrisy on this topic is not just hypocrisy when it most assuredly is

            1. And I’m not saying that anyone in particular is being hypocritical. I’m just saying that this seems like a repeat of most of the Trump administration: doing the same thing as the last guy is suddenly an “outrage”. Which I’m fine with because the last guy set a lot of dangerous precedents, but let’s not pretend like this is about restraining the executive- this is about restraining Trump and then going back to an unaccountable executive the minute Democrats win the White House again.

              1. And you point to the real example of Congress failing in their responsibility.
                Because, at least a portion of the vote against the wall is: “We can’t let bad orange man get anything he wants”.
                That type of thing should be put aside when national security is on the line – AND IT IS.

    2. Yes, I love Rand & voted for him in 2016 via write-in & will do so again in 2020, but he is wrong here….Trump has every right to do this & a very valid case can be made that it is an emergency & then let the courts decide it!

      1. If this actually goes to court, the court will here from border control who already confirm Trumps definition that this is indeed an emergency.
        The Dems position is clear. Firstly, they will always take the opposite viewpoint to Trump regardless. He could state that the sky is blue and they would call him a liar if there is a single cloud in the sky.
        Secondly, despite Schumer, Pelosi, Obama and HRC all making speeches in the last 5 years supporting the border wall, they never intended to act on their words. They are more than happy to continue with the status quo of miles of the border being wide open. They actually really do want mass immigration because these immigrants predominantly vote Democrat who promise them benefit after benefit at the expense of the American tax payer. They can not rely on the American people to vote for them so they illegal immigration is the only way they can increase their base.

  3. I get paid over $180 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I just got paid $ 8550 in my previous month It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it.
    ?????AND GOOD LUCK?????

  4. “More than 76,000 migrants crossed the border without authorization in February” (NYT March 5, 2019 )

    Yeah, no emergency at all.

  5. Seems to me he’s right here, or they would be proposing to repeal the statute that lets him repurpose already appropriated funds.

    It isn’t as though they can publicly say they want the border to remain insecure.

    1. You don’t see how a member of congress might see this as a very bad precedent to set, regardless of specific preference about border security?

      I’m sure you already know all the precedent and constitutional arguments, so I won’t bother to repeat them. But I am a little surprised you don’t agree with them.

      You understand the political process and have probably thought about how this might come to affect liberty issues you care about in the future.

      Am I wrong to assume that these potential consequences don’t trouble you?

      I know that they don’t trouble Trump. But from I’ve read from your comments, I believe that you lean more libertarian than he does.

      If I’m wrong, I apologize.

      1. No, I could see such concerns motivating this if they were trying to repeal the statutory basis for what Trump is doing.

        But they aren’t. They aren’t trying to repeal the National Emergencies act. They aren’t trying to repeal the law letting Presidents spend money appropriated for one purpose on something else during a declared emergency.

        They’re just trying to stop this particular application of those laws.

        That makes it about the wall, not the principle.

        1. Can’t they think that there are some “real” emergencies – like hurricanes or immediate military situations – that might be worth having SOME kind of “emergency” provision, and still think this is an abuse of that power?

          There is a different precedent being set in this situation than a President allocating funds for immediate disaster relief that “can’t wait” for congressional approval.

          Maybe this will lead to congress looking at Presidential emergency authority and rewriting the law to make it more specific. I think it would be a good idea to do so.

          But they have to vote on this first, don’t they?

          1. Maybe it will lead to Congress revising the emergency powers, but I would not hold your breath waiting.

          2. none of them cares about abuse of power unless it’s T.

  6. It can be true at the same time that Paul and some others voting for the bill have doubts about the constitutionality of the action Trump took and that the bill itself does nothing to address the constitutional issues of Congress granting the executive such broad emergency authority. The bill seems to object to Trump using that authority in this way on this issue. The majority of Congress does not appear to want to take away such authority from the presidency generally, on principle.

  7. As a fan of minimalism, I have to give Trump credit for going straight for “the enemy is crossing our border and we need to build a wall to keep them out” as his Wag the Dog. Keep it simple, stupid. That’s what I say. And racist. Can’t leave that part out.

    1. It is a Pavlovian response, is it not?

    2. Is he saying that Mexicans have “dual loyalty”?

      1. There are plenty of anti-Muslim bigots in Congress. The entire Bush administration was predicated on it. As we know, Trump has moved on to another group as his primary scapegoat, but he’s been no slouch when it comes to Muslims. I say the Rep. what’s-her-face can only add a soupcon of balance.

        1. And now a few bigots who are Muslim.

        2. Just so I understand who the woke set says it’s OK to be a bigot about, can I say that Mexicans have “dual loyalty” or is that just reserved for the Joooows!

          Seriously, your remark was peak stupid. Ilhan Omar is a pretty blatant anti-semite and I hold no ill will toward Muslims.

          1. I remember when Rand Paul criticizing Israel made people accuse him of antisemitism (even though in the same breath he would criticize Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern allies). But, now a woman who is uniquely obsessed with Israel and supports a more hawkish foreign policy than Paul accuses Jews of “hypnotizing the world” and claims they have “dual loyalty” and we’re suppose to pretend like that’s a criticism of foreign policy because she wears a “hat”. Screw that noise

          2. In any other context this nitpicking of diction would get you accused of being the most precious of snowflakes, but I do get it. She should be much more careful in choosing her words when accurately describing the US-Israel relationship.

            1. Accusing someone of “dual loyalty” is pretty blatant bigotry. And is basically the same thing that Trump insinuated with regards to a Mexican judge during the election. Does being a progressive mean never holding any principle beyond intersectional nonsense?

              1. She was not critiquing the American-Israeli relationship. If she was doing that than I would defend her. She is an antisemite. It’s that simple.

                Criticizing foreign policy means actually criticizing a policy. Not criticizing an entire class of people.

              2. Even though dual loyalty (not the phrase she used) has been a trope of bigotry against all manner of groups including Muslims, Mexicans, Catholics, and Jews, that shouldn’t preclude us from discussing the peculiarly uncritical stance many politicians take toward Israel, which, of course, is part and parcel of anti-Muslim bigotry. Let’s all try not to be bigots!

                1. She absolutely said “dual loyalty”. Come the fuck on now. She tweeted it out. You’re denying reality because it doesn’t conform with your mythology. A sure sign of a religious zealot.

                  Our support for Israel is not due to “anti-Muslim bigotry” (a truly bizarre argument to make) otherwise how do you explain our close alliances with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey? But, I’m on board with reexamining our relationship. But, doing so has been made harder because of bigots like Omar

                  1. It should also be noted that many Palestinians are and were Christians. In fact most opposition to Israel was originally led by Palestinian Christians.

                    Fucking intersectionality is cancer. You guys fuck-up a legitimate discussion with your mindless bigotry based on a pyramid of stupid and your utter lack of knowledge about the rest of the world. Progressive suck so much.

                    1. Also, she “unequivocally” apologized. Go berate Trump for his many, many far less subtle bigoted statements until he does the same.

                  2. “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

                    If you can find the tweet I’m missing, I’ll stand corrected. If you can explain what’s truly wrong with this sentiment, I’m all ears.

                    As many as 25 states have passed laws limiting free speech with respect to criticizing or being associated with anti-Israel boycotts. To me, that’s the bigger issue. And it goes without saying that Rep. Omar has experienced her share of bigotry.

                    She may be an antisemite, but so far the evidence suggests that she’s simply a newb who never left her lefty bubble where it’s, gasp, okay and common to criticize Israel and our foreign policy with respect to it.

                    1. “She may be an antisemite, but so far the evidence suggests that she’s simply a newb who never left her lefty bubble where it’s, gasp, okay and common to criticize Israel and our foreign policy with respect to it.”

                      The evidence is pretty clear that she’s an antisemite. Which ironically, undercuts your supposed newfound desire to re-litigate our relationship with Israel. Welcome to the party, kid. Libertarians have been saying this for at least thirty years without using antisemitic tropes.

                    2. *Shrugs* I’m a free-speech liberal. The fact that the one time I’m engaged in a discussion on this website where it’s you guys parsing diction to find hints of bigotry is when it comes to Israel criticism is kind of the whole problem.

                      Now do Trump and Latinos, Muslims, and black people. Of course he’s said a couple things about his son-in-law that could count as both antisemitic and homophobic as well.

                    3. plus the whole hot daughter thing

    3. That the enemy actually IS crossing the border, by the tens of thousands, would seem relevant here.

      1. Destitute Honduran families are our enemy?

        They’re not my enemy.

        1. When they create a humanitarian crisis, which is what they are doing, yes they are. And only you could be so fucking racist and patrionizing to think it is just families and no criminals or gangs crossing the border.

          1. They are the humanitarian crisis. Do you even know what the words are that are coming from your face? Or are your thoughts just an amalgam of Trump brain farts you waft into our general direction?

            So desperate poor people in need of help are our enemy. Was it the Republicans’ goal all along to turn America into such a shithole that we could no longer be generous or do great things? Because if they weren’t, they sure made it look like it.

        2. then Invite them onto your property, and pay for their benefits yourself. They’ll pay for themselves I’m sure.

          1. They don’t get benefits. Being herded into concentration camps isn’t a benefit.

        3. If they don’t ask permission to cross the border, or refuse to take “NO!” for an answer, yes, they’re the enemy.

          I’m quite comfortable saying that.

          I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I don’t care how you complain: I don’t want to live in a real life enactment of The Camp of Saints. I want the US to be a prosperous, free country, and if that means that poor Hondurans have to stay out, I’m good with that.

          1. Then you’re a terrible, paranoid person. I realize you’re good with that. It’s the entire point of being a rightwinger.

            1. Relax, Tony. The bigots don’t win in America. They say and do ugly things, and mutter bitterly, but they don’t win, especially over the longer terms.

              1. It’s you assholes that are the “bigots”.
                I hope, when you have pushed real Americans too far, you will be among the first to face a patriot with his AR.
                Or you should die in a fire.

            2. Relax, Tony. The bigots don’t win in America. They say and do ugly things, and mutter bitterly, but they don’t win, especially over the longer terms.

    4. you can’t go around calling mexicans dogs, dude.

      1. Don’t call me dude, dawg.

  8. I’m not a huge fan of the wall, so I I’m trying to figure out a more principled argument that I can personally make to prove that my bias isn’t wagging my dog.

    I hate the war on drugs. I think it does far more harm in a very real way than a border wall will.

    If Trump wanted to allocate all the money from the drug war to the border wall, I can see how I’d be tempted to approve of that, in a lesser-of-two-evils-results-oriented way.

    So taking all of that into consideration, I believe constitutional principles should still trump (pardon the expression) short term results oriented goals in this case.

    I think it’s too dangerous to establish this precedent, even if I’d rather have money wasted on a wall than on ruining people’s lives in the drug war.

    When President Warren wants to call climate change a national emergency, and act accordingly to make life worse for Americans, I’ll be thankful for Republicans like Paul and Amash who had higher constitutional principles today.

    I’m kind of surprised more Democrats aren’t siding with the President – saying that he indeed has the legal authority to do this – for the opposite reason.

    On second thought, they are politicians who will have no problem with future hypocrisy. I shouldn’t be surprised at all.

    1. When President Warren wants to call climate change a national emergency, and act accordingly to make life worse for Americans, I’ll be thankful for Republicans like Paul and Amash who had higher constitutional principles today.

      First, saying the border is a national defense emergency does not set the precident than climate change is one. If the border doesn’t concern national defense what the fuck does? Second, if Warran wants to reprogram some defense construction money, I think the Republic will survive.

      It is hard to overstate just how stupid people like you sound. It is clear you have no clue what is going on here and are just emoting bullshit talking points. I would think being ignorant would get old. But it never seems to do so.;

      1. The United States defense department has called one of these two things a threat to the national defense of the United States:

        A) Central American refugees
        B) Climate change

        Guess which one!

        1. Then reprogram. You don’t even know what is going on. You are just dumb as a post

          1. Losing the culture war has made you cranky, John.

            And irrelevant.

            1. Blah blah blah

  9. Precedent were established 58 times so far, 31 of the declarations are still active.

  10. that is because they are not voting on the constitutionality. They are voting on if they agree with his declaration. Those are two different things. Meanwhile even the New York Times admits there is an emergency down there, though they are too medacious to use the word. If 76,000 migrants a month with nohwere to house them or any practical way to vet them, which reason is always claiming can be done so easily,. how is that not an emergency?…..rease.html

    1. This Fortress America mindset is so fucking stupid. Vet them? How about we vet the citizens who are already here? Oh, we have a criminal justice system that presumes innocence for just that purpose? Hm, it’s almost like you’re saying swarthy Latinos are inherently prone to rape and pillage. Of course there is data about this, not that you care.

      Maybe it is an emergency, but it’s an emergency for them, not us. Your compassion for people who will never once encounter any of these people is heartwarming, though.

      1. The fact that they live in a shithole country, that they want to take the easy way out by running away, isn’t an emergency.
        Maybe you need to show your compassion by going down there and working to overthrow the corrupt government, instead of advocating that they turn this nation into the kind of shithole that they ran away from.
        But, that’s what you commies want, isn’t it?
        You hate that America is this prosperous, powerful country and want it to be brought down, so that a new Soviet Amerka can arise.

  11. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail..

  12. ” where it appears enough GOP senators have bcucked their party”

    Cucks gonna cuck

    1. Paul only uses the GOP as a way to get elected, but he’s a libertarian and more desirous of open borders than any concern about money not appropriated by Congress.
      Remember, he was the swing vote in stopping the investigation into how the Senate got small-business classification, so that they could avoid having to go into 0blamocare.
      He’s no saint.

  13. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

  14. “Law enforcement personnel get a pass for conspiring to kill people”

    When that’s actually the case, I’m against it.

    When it’s only spin on the American government protecting Americans from invasion, that’s too bad.

    “but leave food in the desert and you should be locked up”

    Conspiracy to commit crime is a crime.

    You want to destroy America. I don’t.

  15. Well, unless you can get them all together and can use a bomb. Hmmm, sayyyy, are there are any places you can think of where central planners are collected together?

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