Several Republican senators expressed disapproval Thursday at Congress’s border funding deal as well as President Trump’s plan to declare a national emergency to obtain funds for a border wall.
“I’m disappointed with both the massive, bloated, secretive bill that just passed and with the president’s intention to declare an emergency to build a wall,” Senator Rand Paul wrote on Twitter.
“I, too, want stronger border security, including a wall in some areas. But how we do things matters. Over 1,000 pages dropped in the middle of the night and extraconstitutional executive actions are wrong, no matter which party does them,” the libertarian Kentucky Republican added.
President Trump announced Thursday that he plans to sign the compromise border funding bill that does not include the $5.7 billion in wall funding he requested. He will also declare a national emergency, the White House said.
“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Other Republican senators also criticized the president’s plan, including Susan Collins of Maine and Marco Rubio of Florida.
“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Rubio said in a statement.
Collins called declaring a national emergency “a mistake on the part of the President and of”dubious constitutionality.”
“Such a declaration would undermine the role of Congress and the appropriations process,” she continued.
Democrats predictably panned the decision, calling it an abuse of power by the president.
“We will review our options, we’ll be prepared to respond appropriately to it,” Democratic House Speaker Pelosi said. “If the president can declare an emergency on something that he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer came out even stronger against the move, calling it “a lawless act – a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for the wall.”