In a rambling press conference yesterday President Trump declared that he would be signing the bipartisan border security compromise, but that he would also be declaring a “National Emergency” to be able to steer funds away from other departments towards the Wall he wants so badly.
The Wall Mexico was supposed to pay for.
In his speech he openly admitted he “doesn’t need to do it”, which begs the question of what he thinks an “emergency” is, exactly.
Lawsuits have already started over this executive overreach, and it seems likely they will all site that sentence as exhibit A that the president doesn’t even believe his own tale on this topic.
The reactions from the Tennessee delegation were mostly to be expected. Rep. Mark Green was quick to declare his support.
…I support the president taking legal executive action by declaring a national emergency to end the crisis caused by our unsecure southern border. 2/2
— Dr. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) February 15, 2019
Green cited the National Emergencies declared by previous presidents as evidence that this was not actually the departure from constitutional norms critics were making it out to be. What Green either didn’t realize, or failed to mention, was that none of the previous emergencies involved a president trying to make an end run around congress to raid the treasury to deliver on a campaign promise.
Green isn’t the only Tennessee Republican who has touted his undying “support for the constitution” and “limited government”, who seems to have conveniently abandoned those ideals in this moment. Reps Phil Roe and Chuck Fleischmann also rushed to support the move, as did Rep. John Rose.
Senator Lamar Alexander was the only Tennessee Republican who seemed to have a problem with it, calling it “Unnecessary”, “Unwise”, and “Unconstitutional.”
It seems safe to assume Lamar realizes a Democratic President would surely turn around and use the power for actual emergencies like gun violence, health care, and climate change, and Senator Alexander clearly doesn’t want that to happen.
Democratic Rep. Cohen was on the other side of the fence, questioning the hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell and the Republicans who spent all 8 Obama years bemoaning executive overreach.
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) February 15, 2019
Checks and balances exist for a reason. The hypocrisy on display here is truly remarkable. If you agree this declaration is nothing short of an abuse of power, holler at your reps.