Appearing on CNN Monday morning, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) claimed President Donald Trump would be behaving like Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro by declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border to build a security wall.
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Trump not ruling out declaring a national emergency: “The President on the one hand has been declaring his opposition to the actions of a dictator in Venezuela at the same time that he is suggesting that he would act like one here” pic.twitter.com/gRFdcXvj1M
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 4, 2019
A partial transcript is as follows:
KATE BOLDUAN: You chair the subcommittee that deals with military construction. That is especially important today because that is the pot of money, if you will, that the president would be dipping into if declares a national emergency to fund his border wall. It sure sounds from what he said to CBS that is the direction he’s headed by the end of next week. If that’s the case, Congresswoman, what do you do about it?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Let’s be very clear on a couple of things. One, there’s not a national emergency that would meet the test that would allow for the president to make such a declaration in this case. If you look at border crossings, if you look at apprehensions at the border, we have border crossings that are about a fifth of where they were going back to 2000. We have the lowest amount of apprehensions that we’ve had in four decades. The president is just not telling the truth when it comes to there being a case to be made for a national emergency to be declared. What also is important is that the president doesn’t have the power of the purse. He can’t just decide that he doesn’t like the way Congress has appropriated the funds in an appropriations act that’s been signed into law and because we’re not doing what he wants, he thinks he can just declare a national emergency and take the money from military construction projects that are already woefully underfunded.
It would be unconstitutional and mired in court. That can be taken to the bank.
BOLDUAN: Would you be yourself spearheading the legal challenge to the president for using this money for the wall?
REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Most definitely. I can tell you that as the chair of the subcommittee that appropriates funds for our military, I would absolutely, along with my colleagues, challenge the president’s ability to make such a declaration. It is not legal, not in compliance with the national emergencies act, which he would be attempting to utilize and there is certainly not a national emergency. This is more the actions of a dictator. The President, on the one hand, has been declaring his opposition to the actions of a dictator in Venezuela at the same time that he is suggesting that he would act like one here in the United States.