During a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) stated that he does not support President Trump’s emergency declaration.
Alexander said, “I support what the president wants to do on border security, but I do not support the way he has been advised to do it. It is unnecessary and unwise to turn a border crisis into a constitutional crisis about separation of powers when the president already has Congressional funding authority to build the 234 miles of border wall that he requested in his January 6 letter to the Senate.”
He added, “Mr. President, there has never been an instance where a president of the United States has asked for funding, Congress has refused it, and the president has then used the national emergency act to justify spending the money anyway. If President Trump can build a wall when Congress has refused to provide the funding, then the next president can declare a national emergency and tear the wall down, or declare climate change an emergency and stop oil exports and offshore drilling. There is no limit to the imagination of what the next left-wing president could do to harm our country with this precedent.”
Alexander continued, “After an American Revolution against a king, our founders chose not to create a chief executive who could tax the people and spend their money any way he chose. The Constitution gave that responsibility exclusively to a Congress elected by the people, and every one of us United States senators has taken an oath to support that Constitution. Separation of powers is a crucial constitutional imperative that goes to the very heart of our freedom.”
Alexander then quoted from the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia about the importance of the separation of powers in protecting freedom.
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