Feb 14, 2019

What they're saying: Republicans push back on Trump's emergency declaration

Photo: Pool via Getty Images

The announcement that President Trump plans to declare a national emergency at the same time that he'll sign a bipartisan border security bill has prompted backlash from both Republicans and Democrats, with many believing the decision will set a dangerous precedent for future administrations.

What they're saying: In a press conference following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's announcement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she may file a legal challenge in response to Trump's emergency declaration. She added: "You want to talk about a national emergency? Let's talk about today. The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That's a national emergency. Why don't you declare that emergency, Mr. President?"

  • Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall. It is yet another demonstration of President Trump's naked contempt for the rule of law."
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: "I support [Trump] in making this declaration. We face a humanitarian and national security crisis at the border that must be addressed and the President's declaration is a mere statement of fact. With the declaration and other legal authorities, the President has access to important tools to take the steps necessary to secure the border."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.): "I think this is a political fight worth having."
  • Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution. Today's national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal."
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.): "It would be a pretty dramatic expansion of how this was used in the past."
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine): "I don’t believe that the National Emergencies Act contemplated a president repurposing billions of dollars outside the normal appropriations process. I also believe it will be challenged in court and is of dubious constitutionality. It undermines the role of Congress.”
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): I’m not in favor of operating government by national emergency. ... We have a government that has a constitution that has a division of power, and revenue raising and spending power was given to Congress.”
  • House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.): "Democrats' refusal to negotiate has rendered Congress inept at doing its job to protect Americans. At this point POTUS is absolutely right to use constitutional executive action authority to build the wall and secure our border. This is a national emergency. I fully support him."
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): “I don’t think this is a matter that should be declared a national emergency. We as legislators are trying to address the president’s priority. What we’re voting on now is perhaps an imperfect solution, but it’s one we could get consensus on."
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.): “I never thought that was a good idea. I still don’t. My view is that this is better to be resolved through the legislative process.”

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.