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Local News

Local members of Congress react to Trump's national emergency

President Donald Trump seeks wall funding concerning border security

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Local Democratic members of the House of Representatives called President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration “dangerous” and an “abuse of power.”

Last week, Trump signed Congress’ border security compromise to keep parts of the federal government open and allocate almost $1.4 billion for new barriers along the southern border. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, also announced Trump’s intention to declare a national emergency, which would give him power to divert funds from other budget projects into border security.

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, released a statement in response to the national emergency.

“This declaration is an abuse of power that ignores the will of Congress – and the will of the people we represent,” Underwood said. “It sets a dangerous precedent and is not an effective solution to this complicated issue. We have a humanitarian crisis at the border that should be solved with bipartisan, bicameral compromise in Congress, including border security funding ... and using resources to update ports of entry, add judges and increase border surveillance.”

Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, also put out a statement in response to Trump’s decision.

“This announcement is a gross and egregious abuse of presidential power that circumvents congressional authority and sets a dangerous precedent for our democracy,” Foster said. “It is a sad day for our country when the president of the United States chooses to fabricate a national security crisis for political gain.

“There is no national security emergency on our southern border; the president is simply incapable of working for all Americans to prioritize affordable health care, smart fixes to our immigration system, and a plan to fix our crumbling infrastructure. It’s time for the president to fulfill his constitutional duty and show real leadership. It’s time to end this fixation on a wasteful border wall.”

The president’s declaration already has some challenges.

A group of 16 states with Democratic attorneys general, including California, New York and Colorado, filed a lawsuit Monday against the declaration in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and alleges the action is unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union also filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the Northern District of California.

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