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Sen. Schatz Comments on Trumps Emergency Declaration

February 15, 2019, 8:01 AM HST
* Updated February 15, 8:06 AM
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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), lead Democrat on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, released a statement on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in response to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.

President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday, in a move designed to circumvent Congress and build additional barriers at the southern border, where the U.S. faces “an invasion of our country,” he said.

“To subvert Congress’s constitutional appropriations authority by invoking an emergency is an unlawful abuse of power,” said Sen. Schatz. “As an independent co-equal branch of government, we cannot allow this president to violate the separation of powers.

“We certainly cannot allow him to rob our military of $3.5 billion for critical construction projects that serve our troops, support our allies, and deter our adversaries—all to build a wall that will do nothing to protect America.”

President  Trump is seeking to secure about $6.5 billion more in funding than Congress approved in a bill passed Thursday to avert another partial government shutdown.

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President Trump did not mention of signing the bill but his acting chief of staff told reporters he intends to do so.

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Many of the president’s Republican allies have called a national emergency ill-advised, and Democrats immediately called the move unconstitutional and vowed to fight it legislatively or in court.

The declaration is expected to face other legal challenges.

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