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Tillis Rebukes Trump; Says Emergency Declaration Is 'Not The Solution'

Senator Thom Tillis
WFAE/UNC-TV
Senator Thom Tillis

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis has issued a statement criticizing President Donald Trump for declaring a national emergency Friday, saying he doesn't "believe a national emergency declaration is the solution" to securing the U.S. - Mexico border.

The Republican senator said he did not believe the declaration would provide enough funding to adequately secure the southern border, and could lay the groundwork for a Democratic president to declare a national emergency and implement a "radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress."

Tillis's statement echoes concerns raised by other Republicans in the U.S. Senate, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. Both were quoted by NPR Thursday expressing misgivings with the move. Collins called it a "mistake," and Cornyn said he was concerned with "the precedent it would establish," and that he believed there were "other, better solutions."

But in remarks from the Rose Garden on Friday, Trump made the case that the emergency declaration was needed to combat "an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs."

Read Sen. Tillis' full statement below:

“It doesn’t matter who the President is or what party they belong to: I strongly believe in the separation of powers and curbing the kind of executive overreach that Congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the last century, including during the Obama Administration.

Over the last several years, I’ve repeatedly supported President Trump’s plans to secure our borders. I share the President’s frustration that Congressional Democrats have blocked the reasonable and good faith efforts he has made to invest in more personnel, technology, and infrastructure in order to protect the American people. Democratic leaders have made clear their opposition to a serious investment in border security is motivated by their desire to score political points at the President’s expense.

While there are unobjectionable ways for the President to transfer federal funds to be used for border security, including more than $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, I don’t believe a national emergency declaration is the solution. It wouldn’t provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders, it would likely get tied up in litigation, and most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing President would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress. As Speaker Pelosi explicitly noted, liberal Democrats would certainly embrace scenarios like:

·        A President Bernie Sanders declaring a national emergency to implement the radical Green New Deal, including shutting down power plants, causing energy prices to skyrocket.

·        A President Elizabeth Warren declaring a national emergency to shut down banks and take over the nation’s financial institutions.

·        A President Cory Booker declaring a national emergency to effectively end Second Amendment Rights.

Congress has allowed executive overreach to continue unabated from one administration to the next because both sides are fine with it as long as they agree with the policy goal. While I agree with President Trump’s policy goal, I don’t believe in situational principles, and it’s clear what kind of rabbit hole our country can go down when we have a Democratic President who wants more government intrusion into our economy and our lives.”