The U.S. House plans to vote as early as tomorrow on a resolution to President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to fund construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Missouri’s 5th District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a senior Majority House Whip, says the measure will most likely be vetoed but the vote can help gauge the opinion of Congress.
“What we hope is that if we pass this at a level where the president would not have a capability to veto, then he’d say ‘the legislative branch of government is significantly opposed to this so I’m going to back away,” he told Missourinet.
Most of Missouri’s congressional Republicans are likely to vote against the Democrat-led bill, putting the blame on Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusal to fund a border wall.
But some Republicans have questioned the declaration—at least in comments to the press. Senior Senator Roy Blunt and a few GOP colleagues say this sets a troublesome precedent of side-stepping congressional power.
“It’s an issue that the country has debated and the Congress has debated for some time. There are a number of emergency declarations out there, none of them involve a situation where the president asks the Congress to appropriate money and they didn’t do it,” Blunt told Missourinet.
“Just because I’m for what this president wants to do doesn’t mean that I’d want to establish a precedent that would allow the next president to decide that any number of issues are emergencies, he said.”
Cleaver, looking ahead, agrees, saying there has been an erosion of the legislative branch in the past 30 or 40 years.
“We’ve (Congress) surrendered some of it, and we’ve also had presidents take it away, all of them, Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “When we have political overreach, if it’s our guy in power in the White House, we know it’s not right but we go along with it just simply because it’s our guy, not realizing that another president will eventually occupy the White House and we’ll continue the trek down this wrong road.”
If the president’s emergency declaration authority gets heard in federal courts, Cleaver thinks the high courts would side with the president based on recent cases.
“The president does have some broad powers that were given to the executive branch…over the past few years; we’re three decades behind,” Cleaver added.
Another issue is that the presidential order could stall three military construction projects in Missouri, according to a list published by House Democrats last week.
Missouri’s senior U.S. Senator Roy Blunt addressed the list Thursday, saying he hopes these are not “somewhere the president would look.”
Pelosi’s list says two projects, including a hospital, at Fort Leonard Wood would be threatened, along with the new National Geospatial-Intelligence facility (NGA West) planned for outside St. Louis.
“In both cases it may take that long to bid the project and have people ready to start future work anyhow, but these are both critically important, particularly NGA, both to what’s going to happen in development in north St. Louis and what’s going to happen in the actual security of the country,” Blunt told the press in St. Louis Thursday.
Cleaver said no funds for defense contractors to get started means no connected tax revenue for Missouri and, he warned, “It would further ignite the ugly part of government I have witnessed over the last 14 years that I call revenge politics.”