GOP Rep. Stewart on Border Wall Declaration: ‘There Clearly Is an Emergency — I Just Wish the Presidents Didn’t Have This Authority’

Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) acknowledged he would vote against a House resolution opposing President Donald Trump’s emergency wall declaration, but it wasn’t without expressing his opposition to Trump’s decision.

Stewart told co-host Alisyn Camerota he believed Trump had the authority and that he thought there was an emergency at the border, but added that he wished Trump had gone through Congress to come up with a solution.

“Yes, you know, I’ve never questioned, at least after talking to many scholars, it’s become clear to me the president has this authority,” Stewart said. “I don’t doubt he doesn’t have the authority. What I wonder is if it’s a good idea. And I’ve been pretty consistent on that. When President Obama did things like declaring his fix for DACA, something I actually supported his policy, I said, I don’t think he has the authority to do this. The Constitution is pretty clear this is a mandate of Congress. And that’s my fear. The president having authority or whether it’s a good idea are two separate questions. And I think it’s much better if we have something where we work together on Congress on this and — as we’ve done now 32 times over the last generation or so where presidents independently declare these emergencies.”

Camerota asked if he would vote for the resolution, to which Stewart explained his issues with it.

“Well, I — again, this is something that — that the language of this bill is so tightly construed, it said that the president doesn’t have this authority and it says that there isn’t an emergency on the border. I disagree with those two things,” he added. “He does have the authority. There clearly is an emergency. I just wish the president didn’t have this authority. And I’ve said I think to you and others, I worry about what a future president will do. A president from a Democratic Party who says, you know, gun violence is a — is a national emergency or climate change.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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