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By Lou Marzeles

Herrera Beutler opposes national emergency to fund wall


February 20, 2019

the creative minds at are marketing a new toy that allows you to build your own wall with a figure of Trump standing in front of it.

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler does not believe President Trump was right to declare a national emergency to secure funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Herrera Beutler issued a statement last week giving her reasons for disagreeing with the president's move.

"I have voted repeatedly and consistently for increased security on our borders," she said in her statement, "but I do not support the president using a national emergency declaration to redirect funds toward the border that were already appropriated for other purposes by Congress. If President Obama had ever hinted at using emergency powers in this way, I would have spoken out strongly against it, and consistency demands that I do the same now."

Herrera Beutler said Trump's move sets a dangerous precedent. "Some conservatives may cheer today," she wrote, "but someday it's likely that the shoe will be on the other foot, and a liberal president would have the power to disregard Congress, declare an emergency, and enact whatever policy she sees fit."

Another president down the road conceivably could use the same tactic to implement a policy sharply at odds with conservative values, Herrera Beutler warned, citing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's own similar warning. "What could the next president circumvent Congress to enact with emergency powers?" Herrera Beutler speculated. "Government-run, one-size-fits-all health care? A firearms ban? A Green New Deal?"

File photo, Lou Marzeles

SPEAKING ON THE WALL: U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, right, says she supported for full congressional funding for President Trump's border wall but doesn't think he's right to declare a national emergency to get money for it.

As expected, resistance to Trump's action has begun in court. Monday 16 states filed suit in U.S district court seeking an injunction to prevent Trump from using previously allocated funds without congressional approval. The case could take months to resolve, possibly lasting through the 2020 elections and going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Herrera Beutler considers Trump's move an erosion of constitutional checks and balances. "Declaring an emergency in such a situation would undermine that system in a way that even those of us who support strong border security may later deeply regret," she cautioned. "I say that as one who has voted to meet and exceed the president's $5 billion request for physical border security last June and in my role as an appropriator. Ultimately, it's up to Congress to finally do its job and craft an immigration bill that secures our borders and fixes the countless other problems with our immigration system. We can't let our frustration allow us to disregard the Constitution and its separation of powers."


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