What Polis, Colorado Lawmakers Had To Say About Trump’s Emergency Declaration

<p>Evan Vucci/AP</p>
<p>President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington.</p>
Photo: Donald Trump | National Emergency Wall
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis denounced Donald Trump's decision to declare a national emergency that could allow the president to build a southern border wall.

The Democratic governor issued a Friday statement that called Trump's plan to bypass Congress to spend more money on border barriers “an astonishing abuse of power.'”

Polis said that “while the president tries to separate us, Coloradans, and my administration, will continue to unite by building a better Colorado for all.”

Congress has given Trump about $1.4 billion for border barriers, well below the $5.7 billion Trump has insisted he needed to build a wall.

At the White House Friday, Trump insisted that "we have an invasion of drugs, we have an invasion of gangs" that he deemed "unacceptable." Trump said he will use executive action to siphon billions of dollars from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts for to build a wall, the central promise of his 2016 campaign.

Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn insisted Friday that Trump "was elected in no small part because he spoke to the frustrations of the majority of Americans who support better border security and control of our national sovereignty." But he urged Trump not to divert funds from military construction, saying such a move "will have serious consequences for our military readiness."

During the partial federal government shutdown triggered over border security funding, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet denounced Trump, saying he "wants $5 billion to build some antiquated medieval wall that he said Mexico would pay for. This is a joke."

Trump's move has been condemned by Democrats and elicited threats of lawsuits from Democratic state attorneys general and others who might lose federal money or say Trump is abusing his authority. In a tweet, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser vowed to "fight this action with every tool at our disposal."

What Colorado’s Politicians Had To Say:

  • Rep. Ken Buck said on KOA Radio Friday morning that when the president declares a national emergency, it’s up to voters to decide what they think of it. “I, frankly, think the United States is looking for strength in leadership right now. I think that the president is demonstrating strength with a serious threat.”

  • Rep. Jason Crow (D) said Congress wasn’t willing to fund the President’s “ineffective and wasteful” wall. “There is no 'national emergency' at our border. This President knows it, his enablers in Congress know it, and our democracy will not tolerate it.”

  • Rep. Diana DeGette (D) said Trump is ignoring the will of the people and embarrassing America. ““While I fully support enhancing security at our borders, building this ridiculous wall is not the right solution. And the president’s decision today, to declare a fake national emergency so he can take money away from other important projects and spend it on his wall, is beyond the pale – and, I believe, an abuse of power.”

  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) strongly encouraged the president to not divert funds from military construction to use on the wall. In a statement, he said: “Our defense infrastructure was one of the areas hit hardest by the Obama-era defense cuts, and pulling from those accounts will have serious consequences for our military readiness …. As such, I hope the President will pursue other options."

  • Rep. Joe Neguse (D) called Trump’s move “lawless and unconstitutional.” “Under President Trump’s purported plan, the military would need to seize hundreds of miles of private and state-owned land. It’s a gross abuse of authority and a threat to our rule of law. If the President declares a national emergency tonight, we must challenge it in court tomorrow.”

  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) in a tweet said members of Congress swore an oath to uphold the constitution: “Democrats and Republicans need to come together to defend our Constitution from @realDonaldTrump’s #FakeTrumpEmergency which violates our system of checks and balances.”

  • Rep. Scott Tipton (R) said in a statement that he believes such a move should go through the legislative process. “Such action could set a precedent, further concentrating power in the Executive Branch and eroding the carefully constructed system of checks and balances in the Constitution,” he said.

  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R) told Colorado Matter this week: “I don't think he should do anything without Congress' approval. I think it's important for Congress to have the appropriate oversight” on building a wall.

  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D) called plans to build a wall “wasteful and ineffective,” in a statement: “This is not how the world’s oldest democracy should conduct itself. The President should not declare a national emergency to fulfill a campaign promise that neither the Congress nor the American people support.”