The charade Donald Trump carried out yesterday by visiting the Mexico-U.S. border was designed to give him an excuse to declare a national emergency to build his wall, but a significant portion of Republicans in the House are now speaking out against this idea. Without support from the GOP on an emergency declaration, Trump is not going to get his wall.
The House GOP Freedom Caucus, which currently has 34 GOP seats in the House, is speaking out publicly and privately against Trump declaring a national emergency to build his wall. Leaks from DC revealed that the Freedom Caucus is contacting the Trump administration and arguing for Trump to abandon the emergency declaration in favor of anything else.
House Freedom Caucus GOP Representative David Schweikert said that although he believes Trump can declare an emergency, he shouldn’t, “I believe the president does have the legal authority — if you read the statute — I also think it would be a poor use of that authority.”
Additional House GOP members that are speaking out said, “To call it an outright emergency, I told them, I don’t agree with that, but it’s a crisis that needs to be dealt with. That was my opinion,” said Florida Republican Representative Ted Yoho, with Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan saying, “I think the best approach is legislatively. If he goes the ‘emergency’ route, I’m convinced it’s going to wind up in court. I think we all are.”
The House GOP Freedom Caucus could start a domino effect of other Republicans speaking out against Trump’s idea to use a national emergency to build his wall. The reason they oppose Trump’s plan is what it will mean for the future.
If they stand by and let Trump do this, it will expand presidential powers significantly, which will allow future presidents to use national emergencies of their choosing to do what they want. They are terrified of our next president, which will be a Democrat, using a national emergency to solve gun violence, climate change, healthcare, and such, as if that would be a bad thing.
The GOP is being forced to act because they know Trump’s plan is too short sighted. It will also probably not work anyway because legal challenges to using a national emergency to build a wall will stall any construction for years to come.