Vermont Congressional Delegation Criticizes Trump's Emergency Declaration

Feb 15, 2019

Members of Vermont's congressional delegation are speaking out after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday morning to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president's declaration came during a press conference in the White House's Rose Garden.

More from NPR — "Trump Declares National Emergency To Help Fund Southern Border Wall"

Sen. Patrick Leahy

"There is no national emergency," Leahy said. "No one who subscribes to reality can claim otherwise."

Leahy went on to state:

"The President’s inartful failure to get a deal does not justify him manufacturing a false national emergency.  And it certainly does not justify raiding funds that would strengthen our military and actually prevent drugs from entering and crippling our communities.  The President appears intent on stealing money addressing threats that exist in reality for a national emergency that exists entirely in his head.  How urgent can it be when the President has clumsily threatened to invoke this “emergency” since October of 2018?"

Leahy called the president's declaration "an end run around both the Constitution and Congress" and said it "will be challenged both in the courts and in Congress."

Find Leahy's full statement here.

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sanders tweeted Friday morning:

"The American people, the Congress and the courts must show Trump what the Constitution and separation of powers is about. Trump cannot declare a "national emergency" whenever he wants, and spend money on his pet project. Not gonna happen!"

Rep. Peter Welch

Welch issued the following statement regarding the president's announcement:

“Yesterday, Congress resoundingly rejected President Trump's campaign promise to build a wall on the border. Today, he manufactured a national emergency out of whole cloth to bypass Congress and fund this discredited and now defeated plan. The President's utter failure to deliver on a phony campaign promise may be a political emergency for him, but it is not an emergency for the nation under the law or the Constitution. This willful and dangerous action will not withstand scrutiny in the courts. The wall will not be built.”