'Gross abuse of power': Democrats tear into Trump's latest 'ridiculous' power grab
Caught in the middle of trying to prevent another government shutdown after his last one proved so politically damaging, but unwilling to anger his allies in right-wing media who slammed Congress' bargain on border security and government funding a "garbage compromise," President Donald Trump finally decided to take the plunge and do something he had until recently been looking less likely to do: declare a national emergency.
Right now, the specifics are unclear on this impending emergency declaration, which was first announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), but the White House has previously laid out what it might look like: Trump could divert billions of dollars from the Treasury, the Pentagon, and the Department of Homeland Security, seize land along the southern border and direct the Army Corps of Engineers to build a wall, bypassing Congress altogether.
This strategy is both dangerous, and potentially vulnerable to both legal challenges and a congressional vote to block it. But even before the emergency has been officially announced, Democrats have unified in solidarity against the scheme.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer immediately put out a statement condemning the emergency declaration as a "lawless act" and a "gross abuse of power":
Joint statement from @SpeakerPelosi and @SenSchumer. https://t.co/k0VISAloTR— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman)1550180631.0
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) immediately condemned the declaration as well:
There is not a "national emergency" with regard to the southern border. What President Trump is doing is unlawful a… https://t.co/847xeOjTLw— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1550180406.0
And the declared Democratic candidates for president came out swinging, many of them blasting Trump's power grab, and others pointing out that America is facing a number of actual national emergencies:
Declaring a national emergency over this President's vanity project is ridiculous. We don't need a wall. Instead, w… https://t.co/BJn6qDfkJn— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1550177836.0
Gun violence is an emergency. Climate change is an emergency. Our country's opioid epidemic is an emergency. Donal… https://t.co/cheSb3yMND— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1550178472.0
An outrageous abuse of power—not to mention waste of taxpayer dollars—if he goes through with this ludicrous idea.… https://t.co/xG0n5o4MLN— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand)1550178648.0
Trump’s inability to follow through on a campaign promise is not a national emergency. Let’s not forget those sti… https://t.co/YTWN2TyJiA— Cory Booker (@Cory Booker)1550176688.0
The reports of the President’s threat to declare an emergency to use federal funding to build a border wall are app… https://t.co/LN3SJOyfmL— Julián Castro (@Julián Castro)1550181823.0
Climate change is a national emergency. The absence of a wall is not.— Pete Buttigieg (@Pete Buttigieg)1550176527.0
Every time a president declares a "national emergency" in order to get his way on a particular issue, the closer w… https://t.co/5dMip4ocDa— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@Tulsi Gabbard 🌺)1550181184.0