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Washington, D.C. Feb. 14, 2019 – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement on President Donald Trump preparing to declare a national emergency at the southern border:
“The President’s declaration of a national emergency would be an abuse of his constitutional oath and an affront to the separation of powers. Congress has the exclusive power of the purse, and the Constitution specifically prohibits the President from spending money that has not been appropriated. Congress has just finished a weeks-long budget negotiation. The result agreed to by both parties includes limited funds to construct barriers—but it does not include a medieval border wall. The President has now announced that he will ignore Congress’s express wishes by inventing a so-called ‘emergency.’ This is a gross abuse of power that cannot be tolerated.
“Congress entrusted the President with authority to reallocate funds during unforeseen and urgent situations, such as wars and natural disasters. No sensible person believes there is an emergency at the southern border. Illegal immigration is at record lows, and families with children who lawfully seek asylum are not foreign invaders. Moreover, the law that the President reportedly plans to invoke applies only in situations where the military must be called upon for national defense purposes. But the military is prohibited from enforcing the nation’s immigration laws—and the President cannot deploy the military in a transparent attempt to create the appearance of an emergency where none exists. The only emergency facing the American people right now is the President’s intent to subvert the separation of powers and the rule of law.
“I will fully support the enactment of a joint resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration, in accordance with the process described in the National Emergencies Act, and intend to pursue all other available legal options. The Judiciary Committee will also use its authority to hold the Administration to account and determine the supposed legal basis for the President’s actions.”