Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander calls Trump national emergency 'unnecessary, unwise'

    Photo: AMSF2011 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says President Donald Trump's decision to announce a national emergency is "unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution."

    President Trump made the announcement in the Rose Garden on Friday, saying while he expects challenges in the courts, he believes the case will make it to the Supreme Court where he will win. The declaration is expected to provide him with $8 billion to build a wall at the southern border.

    Senator Alexander joins other Republicans expressing concerns about the declaration and the precedent it sets for future presidents.

    Read his full statement below:

    “The president has made a strong case for increased border security, but declaring a national emergency is unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. It is unnecessary because significant additional money already has been approved by Congress that he could spend on border security without declaring a national emergency. In fact, the president announced today that he would spend $3 billion of this additional funding to fund construction of the border wall. This $3 billion is in addition to the $22 billion Congress appropriated on Thursday for detention beds, technology, border patrol agents, ports of entry, replacing existing wall and 55 miles of new wall.

    “It is unwise because if this president can declare a national emergency to build a wall, the next president can declare a national emergency to tear it down; or declare a climate change emergency to close coal plants and build wind turbines; or a health care emergency and force into Medicare the 180 million Americans with health insurance on the job.

    “It is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution because, after the American Revolution against a king, our founders chose not to create a chief executive with the power to tax the people and spend their money any way he chooses. The Constitution gives that authority exclusively to a Congress elected by the people.” -Lamar Alexander

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