White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said Thursday that senators who vote to block President Donald Trump’s declaration of emergency — as a majority of the body is expected to do — “stand in opposition to the American people.”
In an interview on Fox News, Gidley asserted that, in declaring an emergency in order to obtain more funds than Congress appropriated for a border wall, “the President is literally using powers granted by Congress to enforce laws passed by Congress.”
“This is well within his constitutional duty and Congress is still unhappy for some reason,” he said.
But as multiple senators have pointed out and even the White House has acknowledged, no President has ever used his emergency powers to explicitly defy Congress, in this case by spending more on a border wall than the legislative branch wanted Trump to spend. At least seven Republican senators, including the recent defections of Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), have announced their intention to vote against the emergency.
“For 40 years Congress has had the opportunity to fix our laws and protect our people. They have not,” Gidley said, adding: “The Democrats’ only solution is to say open borders for all. In fact, what they really want to do is legalize illegal immigration. It makes no sense.”
Hogan Gidley: If the Senate opposes the President's declaration of emergency, "they stand in opposition to the American people." pic.twitter.com/0GvJYjIZ4v
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) March 14, 2019