Washington, D.C. Sept. 27, 2019– Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of S.J. Res. 54, a Joint Resolution terminating President Trump’s unlawful emergency declaration. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I thank the gentleman for yielding, and thank you for making that very important point, Mr. Chairman, about the quality of life of the families of our men and women in uniform, which appears to have been demeaned by our colleagues.
Mr. Speaker, Members of Congress take a sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution and to protect the American people. Today, the House honors that oath with this resolution to defend our national security and our Constitution’s system of checks and balances: the guardrails created by our Founders to safeguard our Republic.
The President’s decision to cancel $3.6 billion for military construction to pay for his wasteful wall makes America less safe. The Administration is stealing funds from 127 initiatives in 21 countries, 23 states and three territories – stooping so low as to steal from a middle school in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
A recent U.S. Air Force report shows that the canceling of these projects hurts our national security worldwide, including in Europe, where the President is canceling construction for the European Defense Initiative, which deters Russian aggression. Which deters Russian aggression. The President is canceling that. That makes the Russians very happy.
The Middle East, where he’s canceling maintenance at a key base to protect our troops from, in the words of this Air Force report, ‘Hostile penetration in the midst of contingency operations and an increased terrorist threat.’
In the Pacific, where he’s canceling construction on storage facilities in Guam for more than $1 billion in munitions, the largest stockpile in the region.
And in North America, where he’s canceling repairs at a base in Alaska, which was needed to prevent an explosion that would cause a full evacuation and ‘require millions of dollars to repair.’
That’s the decision – also, disrespects military families, as our distinguished Chair, Mr. DeFazio, mentioned. A coalition of leading education, labor and veterans organizations wrote to the President to express their ‘profound concern’ – their ‘profound concern’ – saying, ‘Our troops and their families deserve much better for their sacrifices.’
The President had said Mexico will pay for his wall, not military families.
And so, the Administration’s decision also dishonors the Constitution by negating its most fundamental principle, the separation of powers. It’s an assault on our power of the purse. It does great violence to our Constitution and our democracy – strikes at the heart of our Founders’ conception of America, which demands a separation of power. Indeed, many White House decisions that have recently come to light show the same disdain and disregard to the Constitution.
Today, we join the Senate – congratulations to the Senate. In a bipartisan way, they restored our system of checks and balances and reasserted Congress’ Constitutional responsibilities. This issue transcends partisan politics. All Members take that oath to protect and defend. We continue to urge House Republicans to join us to uphold the Constitution, and defend and support our national security.
I yield back the balance of my time.