GOP Senators Seriously Concerned about National Emergency Declaration to Build Border Wall

border wall
Credits: AP/Marco Ugarte

Several Republican senators are seriously concerned about the possibility that President Donald Trump would use a national emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Friday, Trump warned “there’s a good chance” of him declaring a national emergency to build the border wall. The President also stated that the bipartisan conference committee is wasting time debating on a spending deal that does not include money for the border wall. He reiterated his warning during an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation, which was aired on Sunday.

A national emergency declaration is a “dangerous step”

On Monday, Senate Republicans told CNN that Trump could set a “dangerous” precedent for future presidents. They believe that it could present constitutional problems and create political consequences for the GOP.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas commented that a national emergency declaration is a “dangerous step” and “not a good strategy.” He added that Republicans repeatedly expressed their concerns regarding the matter to the White House “publicly and privately.”

In addition, Cornyn said, “The whole idea that presidents — whether it’s President Trump, President Warren or President Sanders — can declare an emergency and somehow usurp the separation of powers and get into the business of appropriating money for specific projects without Congress being involved, is a serious constitutional question.”

Last week, Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, stated,  “We have a lot of folks who are uncomfortable with [an emergency declaration] for different reasons, some of which are constitutional and separation of powers.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said such move would be “of dubious constitutionality.”

“A resolution of disapproval is likely”

Meanwhile, House Democrats vowed to challenge in court any presidential declaration that would usurp Congress’ power on appropriations.

In a statement to ABC News, a Democratic House leadership aide, said, “The President has failed to convince the American people and Congress that there is a crisis on our Southern border. The House of Representatives will vigorously challenge any declaration that seeks an end run around Congress’s power of the purse. ”

“A resolution of disapproval is likely should the President goes down this path, but no decisions have been made nor can be made until we see what the President does and how he does it.”