Trump Vetoes Congressional Effort to Kill the Border Emergency
The president throws down the gauntlet against leftists, NeverTrumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans.
After Congress voted to overturn President Trump’s emergency declaration to divert federal funds to build a wall on the nation’s porous border with Mexico, the president issued the first-ever veto of his administration to keep the declaration intact.
The veto is Trump’s effort to defend the emergency he declared Feb. 15 under the National Emergencies Act of 1976.
Trump invoked the act as Congress gave final approval to a $333 billion omnibus spending bill. The legislation provides $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border barriers in Texas, well below the $5.7 billion Trump sought for a border wall and the $25 billion he originally said was needed. The emergency declaration moves around $6.7 billion in funding that was previously appropriated for other projects, largely for military construction. In his new fiscal 2020 budgetary blueprint provided to Congress March 11, the president is seeking another $8.6 billion to build the border wall.
On March 14 the Republican-dominated Senate approved a resolution 59-41 disapproving of Trump’s emergency declaration as 12 GOP senators joined Democrats. On Feb. 26 the Democrat-controlled House approved the disapproval resolution introduced by leftist Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on a vote of 245 to 182.
The vetoed resolution now heads back to Congress where hostile lawmakers probably won’t be able to get the two-thirds supermajority in both chambers needed to override Trump’s veto and invalidate the emergency declaration.
But that won’t stop the open-borders crowd from trying.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday the House will try to override the veto in a vote March 26. She accused Trump of a “lawless power grab” and said the House “will once again act to protect our Constitution and our democracy from the president’s emergency declaration.”
Trump rejects the specious reasoning of the Left and NeverTrumpers.
In federal law, statutes are presumed to be constitutional and no one appears to have challenged the National Emergencies Act before Trump became president.
Trump didn’t go against the will of Congress, as his critics claim –he acted in accordance with the express will of Congress which, when Gerald Ford was in the White House, gave presidents the power to declare emergencies within certain parameters. If lawmakers are uncomfortable with the president possessing the power to move appropriated monies around, they should repeal the law that Congress passed instead of hiding behind dishonest, dumb reasoning. According to media reports, lawmakers are now considering repealing or changing the law.
But Trump, grounded in reality, is dealing with the law as it currently exists.
“Consistent with the law and the legislative process designed by our Founders, today I am vetoing this resolution,” Trump said in the Oval Office on the Ides of March.
“Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it. And I’m very proud to veto it.”
As president, the protection of the nation is my highest duty. Yesterday, Congress passed a dangerous resolution that, if signed into law, would put countless Americans in danger — very grave danger. The Democrat-sponsored resolution would terminate vital border security operations by revoking the national emergency issued last month. It is definitely a national emergency. Rarely have we had such a national emergency.
Therefore, to defend the safety and security of all Americans, I will be signing and issuing a formal veto of this reckless resolution … Congress’s vote to deny the crisis on the southern border is a vote against reality. It’s against reality. It is a tremendous national emergency. It is a tremendous crisis.
Last month, more than 76,000 illegal migrants arrived at our border. We’re on track for a million illegal aliens to rush our borders. People hate the word ‘invasion,’ but that’s what it is. It’s an invasion of drugs and criminals and people. We have no idea who they are, but we capture them because border security is so good. But they’re put in a very bad position, and we’re bursting at the seams.
“There has been a nearly 2,000 percent increase in border-related asylum claims over the last decade,” Trump said.
“Part of the reason is because our country is doing so well economically that people are coming up in droves. The vast majority are rejected, but smuggling organizations — making a tremendous amount of money, like they’ve never made before — are using these people to crash the system. Our immigration system is stretched beyond the breaking point.”
This “mass incursion of illegal aliens, deadly drugs, dangerous weapons, and criminal gang members across our borders has to end.”
Trump noted that presidents have declared 59 national emergencies, mainly dealing with foreign countries, since 1976, “yet Congress has not terminated any of them.”
But the “only emergency Congress voted to revoke was the one to protect our own country.”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen added “the fact that this is an emergency is undeniable.”
“The system is breaking. Security is at risk. And the very humanitarian protections that we hold dear in this country are at risk in terms of our ability to provide those to vulnerable populations.”
Attorney General William Barr told Trump his “declaration of an emergency on the southern border was clearly authorized under the law and consistent with past precedent.”
“What you’ve done from a legal standpoint is solidly grounded in law. And from the standpoint of protecting the American people, it’s imperative.”
Trump also issued a new executive order under the National Emergencies Act on March 15, titled an Executive Order on Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to Significant Transnational Criminal Organizations.
The new order amends President Obama’s Executive Order 13581 of July 24, 2011 blocking property of transnational criminal organizations “in view of the evolution of these organizations as well as the increasing sophistication of their activities, which threaten international political and economic systems and pose a direct threat to the safety and welfare of the United States and its citizens, and given the ability of these organizations to derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct…”
Obama issued his order to fight drug cartels, including Los Zetas in Mexico, according to Breitbart News.
Obama’s order allowed the U.S. to block the property of any group of persons that “engages in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity involving the jurisdictions of at least two foreign states.”
Trump’s new order expanded the definition to apply to a group, “involving the jurisdictions of at least two foreign states, or one foreign state and the United States.”
“It’s a very good emergency that he signed,” Trump said last month. “And we’re going to use parts of it on our dealings on cartels. So that would be a second national emergency. But in that case it’s already in place.”
There are also multiple lawsuits filed by George Soros-funded advocacy groups and Democrat-controlled states like the lawless California pending against the Feb. 15 emergency declaration.
If Trump’s enemies –leftists, NeverTrumpers, and weak-kneed Republicans— fail to halt the emergency declaration in Congress, there is a good chance their allies, the politicians in black robes, will do their bidding.
Using the courts is, after all, their favorite way of undermining America.